.nz usage surges during COVID-19 level 4

30 April 2020

InternetNZ today reveals that New Zealanders are using .nz domain names more than ever before during the past weeks of level 4 lockdown. 

Domain Name System (DNS) activity, which measures requests for .nz domain names, has seen consistent increases of queries coming from New Zealand, week on week of 5 to 7% since the lockdown started.

DNS is an essential component of the Internet that converts names you can remember (internetnz.nz) into numbers a computer understands.

Some sites saw dramatic increases, such as Government domain names, which have seen a 40% increase in traffic compared to before the nationwide lockdown. 

Covid19.govt.nz was added to the register around 16 March. Spikes in traffic to this site align with the Government’s 1pm press conferences. 

InternetNZ Chief Executive, Jordan Carter, says it’s a fantastic example of using a website as a hub of useful information.

“Many Kiwis are relying on the site for up-to-date, relevant information about COVID-19.”

“Sharing of information is crucial, especially during a crisis situation, and a website is an easy way to ensure the same information reaches many New Zealanders at once.”

At the beginning of the lockdown, supermarkets saw high growth as more people looked into doing online shopping instead of visiting the store due to the restrictions in place. 

Activity for .nz domains related to travel has steadily declined, losing 40% of their activity in comparison to the pre-lockdown baseline of 9 March.

Traffic peaks are occurring weekdays between 10am-11am and again at 4pm.

InternetNZ is also seeing a spike in .nz domain name registrations as more businesses around New Zealand make a move online.

“New Zealanders were using the Internet more than ever during alert level 4 and many businesses are thinking about how they can be online during level 3”, says Carter. 

“With Kiwi consumers looking to support local businesses, it's a good time to explore how you can get online and show your local presence with a .nz domain name.” 

Data shows the most popular words included in recent domain name registrations include online, kiwi, and shop. 

InternetNZ’s DNS infrastructure sees over 4 billion queries globally per week. Around 200 million of these queries come from inside New Zealand.