The State Services Commission (SSC) has set up a Government Registrar to undertake registrations to the .govt.nz space. The SSC already moderates names registered to this namespace according to the policy at http://www.e.govt.nz/docs/mod-policy/index.html
So what's changed?
Up to now Domainz has been the only registrar able to make changes to the registrant name in the SRS for .govt.nz domain names and to register new .govt.nz names. As of 3 October 2005, Domainz will no longer be able to register new .govt.nz domains. Those domains will only be available through the Government Registrar.
Why has this happened?
SSC decided some time ago that there can be only one registrar in the .govt.nz space. The SSC has become an authorised Registrar in order to better manage the namespace. As the Crown is the holder of all domains within the .govt.nz space, the SSC is centralising all operational management of the space alongside the moderation function. This is not because there was a problem with Domainz – this is for the administrative convenience of the Government.
What about existing names?
Some names have been transferred from Domainz to other registrars under bulk transfer arrangements. Those registrars are unable to make any changes to the registrant name because they are not authorised for the namespace. All .govt.nz domain names will be transferred from all external registrars to the Government Registrar in the near future. Affected registrars will be contacted separately.
What about collection of fees?
The SSC will pay to New Zealand Registry Services (NZRS) the fees for .govt.nz domain name fees on a monthly basis. There will be no requirement for registrars to collect renewal fees from government agencies for .govt.nz domain names that have transferred to the Government Registrar. Also, from 3 October, .govt.nz domains won’t be registered for more than one month, as, once registered or due for renewal, the names will be rolled over on a monthly basis. Agencies are being advised of this change to the financial arrangements.
What happens to our customers?
They are still your customers for services other than .govt.nz domain name registration. Companies that have existing value-add arrangements with government agencies (e.g. web hosting, DNS records etc) may continue with those arrangements at the agency's discretion. The Government Registrar will be offering authoritative nameservice for government agencies at no charge for .govt.nz domain names, but this will be voluntary and at the agency's discretion.
But the SRS allows registrants to pick their own registrar, doesn't it?
The Government's position is that the Crown is the registrant. As moderator of the .govt.nz space we have decided the best way to manage .govt.nz is to be our own registrar and we have been authorised by the Domain Name Commissioner (DNC) to do that.
Are you going to do .co.nz and .org.nz names for government organisations?
The Government Registrar will only operate in the .govt.nz space. There is no intention of expanding into other .nz namespaces, such as .co.nz or .org.nz, even though there are names in those spaces that are held by government agencies. The purpose of the Government Registrar is not to compete with the private sector, but to manage the integrity of the authoritative namespace for government services and information, and the SSC gained authorisation for the .govt.nz space on this basis.
How can we operate a one-stop shop for our customers?
You can operate all areas except directly undertake .govt.nz domain name registration and renewals. You can act as an agent registering govt.nz names on behalf of agencies, through our web interface. You must advise agencies that they can do it themselves, and you may not charge them the standard registration fee. You are still able to host .govt.nz domain names and offer other services associated with those names. You can still provide all services for any other domain names such as .co.nz and .org.nz.
Are you building a programmatic interface that we can use?
Not at this time. The volume of names does not warrant anything other than a simple web interface.
If you have any questions about this process, please call 0508 GOVTNZ.