Have your say on the future of .nz
Sue Chetwin •
The .nz Advisory Panel has reviewed the .nz framework, it's talked over the issues and now it's proposing some ways forward. Today, the Panel is releasing ‘Re-imagining the future of .nz: Options Report’. We want to hear from you about the options and questions raised. Head to the have your say page to check out the report, make a submission, or find out how to stay involved with upcoming chances to share your thoughts.
Like many other Kiwis, I have recently taken the opportunity to see more of my own backyard. The East Cape to be specific. And what a glorious and diverse backyard it is. From awe-inspiring cliffs to warm golden sand beaches, from the significant Māori culture resplendent in the carved interior of St Mary’s church, Tikitiki, to the pioneering endeavour of the Tolaga Bay Wharf—this is Aotearoa. My journey of discovery is somewhat akin to the work our InternetNZ-appointed Panel has been doing these past few months—discovering how the .nz domain name space works and then, importantly, what policies should drive future participation for the benefit of all New Zealanders. A very broad church!
Our Panel of nine (originally 10) was to have launched this Options Report in April but the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to that. This was not necessarily a bad thing. While we spent time with whānau and friends in lockdown, we also saw how precious the Internet could be in connecting us—if not physically—with those outside our bubbles. Beyond lockdown much of that remote connectivity remains.
When the Panel set out in July last year to review InternetNZ’s .nz domain name space policies, we were tasked with talking to New Zealanders from all walks, to help develop recommendations that reflected their (our) attitudes and interests. That was not always easy given the limited ways to engage in the immediate aftermath of lockdown. So, that makes responses and feedback to this Options Report, in whatever form, especially important.
Despite the limitations, we have spoken or heard from many New Zealanders. We want to test the vision that has resulted from those conversations with you. We think the .nz domain name space should be trusted, safe and secure, open and accessible, and managed in a way that develops .nz for all New Zealanders. We also want .nz to support the use of te reo on the Internet and support Māori participation in .nz.
In this Options Report you will find the thinking behind each of those visionary statements and, unsurprisingly, options for progressing them. The Panel, itself selected from vastly different backgrounds and vastly different interactions with the .nz domain name space, has worked tirelessly with the Secretariat to develop this paper. Not all of us agree on all options but we all agree it is important to seek feedback on those selected, before putting our final recommendations to InternetNZ this year.
So, why does any of this matter? If nothing else COVID-19 put the importance of the Internet into perspective. It affects all our lives every day. Government delivers its services on .nz domain names, small businesses got through the pandemic lockdown on .nz names, local groups and not-for-profits use it to connect their communities. It is the invisible foundation on which Kiwis communicate with each other and the world. Now is your chance to have your say about how it is managed.
The Options Report is a weighty beast. We would love feedback on all aspects of it. But do not be put off by thinking you need to respond to everything. If you have a particular expertise or interest, please feel free to only comment on those areas in which you feel comfortable.
Over the next month, we will be talking to as many New Zealanders as possible about the issues we discuss in the Options Report. We will host online events, use mainstream media and share more information on specific areas of the paper through InternetNZ’s and other social media channels.
This has been the most wide ranging review of .nz domain names policy in the organisation’s history. The Panel could not have produced this Options Report without the work of the Secretariat, namely Kim Connolly-Stone, Nicola Brown and Dominic Kebbell. The Panel has also worked diligently and with purpose in what has been exceptionally challenging times. Thankfully we had the Internet to get us through! Now it is your turn to review our work.
Head to the have your say page to check out the report, make a submission, or find out how to stay involved with upcoming chances to share your thoughts.