2020-2021 Annual Report

Chair's report

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For the second year in a row, the period this report covers is a tale of crisis. Already noted in last year’s report, was the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant impact that it has had on the entire nation. An experience that has touched most facets of everyone’s lives here in New Zealand and overseas.

Commissioner’s report

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Keeping .nz fair for everyone is always important, but our work’s nature changed dramatically this year because of COVID-19. Active monitoring of our space during a global pandemic played a small part in building trust with our online communities.



domain name registrations on 31 March 2021, up from 708,507 at the same time last year. 


authorised registrars, 63 per cent of which are incorporated in New Zealand. 


domain names investigated for possible fake registration details. 932 of these names were suspended, including 103 COVID-19 related names. 


domain names investigated were referred to us by our online safety partners; the top referrer is CERT NZ.


domain names were analysed by our fake webshop algorithm, co-designed with InternetNZ.


of the 149,000 analysed were flagged for compliance action.

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Shoe or shoe brand

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Postal services

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Government departments

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IT services

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Year in review

April 2020

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Liaison with the Online Harm Prevention Group to coordinate online safety messages during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

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Assistance given to members of the public to identify and suspend fake domain name registrations associated with COVID-19 related websites.

May 2020

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Online campaign about privacy and domain names as part of a celebration of New Zealand’s Privacy Awareness Week. 

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2020/2021 compliance work plan released focussing on data legacy, privacy, resellers and .nz terms and conditions. 

June 2020


increase in demand for our contact centre compared to the previous March-June 2019 period. There were 996 enquiries compared to 404 enquiries for the same period last year.

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ICANN international representation with a particular focus on DNS abuse mitigation and security threats relating to the COVID-19 crisis.

July 2020

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Guide for liquidators released explaining how liquidators and receivers should deal with .nz domain names held by companies in liquidation.

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Annual report and transparency report for 2019/20 released.

August 2020

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Policy consultation launched with the .iwi.nz moderator and the 103 .iwi.nz registrants about the criteria to join the moderated space to make it less restrictive. Two online hui held.

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Outreach to registrants and registrars to fix 3,065 .nz domain names at risk of operational and security problems linked to their domain name, DNS Flag Day 2020.

September 2020

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Submission to InternetNZ on its registry lock proposal and impact on registrants, transfers and the Commission.

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International representation at the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association meeting.

October 2020

The wholesale cost of a .nz domain increased from $1.25/month to $1.50/month. A change of $3.00 per annum.

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Lightning talk to NetHui 2020 on our chatbot and customer service best practices. 

November 2020

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Second annual #ShopSafeNZ campaign promoting fakewebshop.nz - 13 online safety supporters join the campaign.

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Presentation on new and emerging risks with COVID-19 effects at the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Conference 2020.

December 2020

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Acquisition approvals granted for changes in the Top 10 of .nz market share changing the market’s make up.

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of our total domain name suspensions between September and December came from referrals from online safety agencies.

January 2021

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New Assistant Domain Name Commissioner recruited.

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domain names associated with fake webshops and invalid registration details suspended over the Christmas period.

February 2021

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new members of the Registrar Advisory Group are appointed: Mark Monitor, Vetta Online Ltd, Free Parking Group.

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Increase of domain name suspensions for registration abuse in the first two months of the new year compared to the same period last year.

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Awarded 2021 Employer of Choice in public sector or not for profit category.

March 2021

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Submissions to InternetNZ on its proposed draft rewritten rules for .nz and Select Committee on a bill proposing amendments to the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act.

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New website launched with chatbot, market data portal, and online form features.

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Immediation appointed to deliver Online Dispute Resolution Pilot.


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Our purpose is to be a fair, independent, and accessible self-regulator who provides trusted oversight of the .nz domain namespace and an excellent dispute resolution service. The Commission’s strategic intent is to promote and protect the rights of registrants as set out in the enforcement of our contractual and policy framework.


DNCL is to promote an effective system of voluntary self-regulation in respect of the .nz domain name industry.


DNCL retools and reassesses its compliance function and activities to continuously improve and reduce compliance risks and strengthen the .nz domain namespace.


DNCL applies its expertise in policy interpretation and enforcement to drive better .nz policy outcomes and decisions.


DNCL operates a modern, contemporary and digital-first domain name dispute resolution service.


DNCL contributes to the joint InternetNZ group strategic priority of modernising and improving the policy and security environment for .nz, consistent with InternetNZ’s aim of being a globally excellent ccTLD.


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The Commissioner led the organisation with the Executive Leadership Team of an Assistant Commissioner, Manager Complaints, and Compliance and Implementation Manager.

Check our website for more information about our organisational capacity, health, and employer obligations and opportunities.

Meet the team


DNC news