Received: 26 January 2018
I support more privacy options for this service.
In my job (web development/system administration) I use whois a lot to identify website owners, registrars, name server settings. This is almost always done via command line whois, having to use a web based system would work but is undesirable.
Pretty much all my lookups are from my workplace, we use a single IP for outbound traffic. I would be happy with a whitelisted system where I register our IP and we are allowed to do lookups. All lookups could be logged and any excessive or incorrect use could limit our access.
Maybe an initial lookup could return a link, when the link is visited in a browser the system whitelists the IP for a limited time (1 hr, 4 hrs, a day) to do lookups.
To help with privacy, an "open contact" could be specified by the domain registrant at the registrar, so lookups would only return the details for the specified open contact, I think this would usually be the technical contact.
If possible, limiting lookups to the NZ system from overseas IP's might be a good option. This may not be practical.
If an IP does get blocked for lookups, it would be good if the IP owner could get this unblocked by explaining what the whois data was used for. As has been stated by others, sometimes people need to do a lot of lookups in a short space of time, i.e. when migrating a customer with a lot of domain names.