DOT KIWI LIMITED has entered into the application process for the .kiwi domain. The application is under ICANN's (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) programme, which ushers in an unprecedented wave of potential new domains beyond traditional geographic and organisational identifiers such as .co.nz or .org.
DOT KIWI LIMITED aims to give back to New Zealand by establishing a fund from the sale of .kiwi domains to benefit the Christchurch rebuild.
Tim Johnson, DOT KIWI LIMITED CEO says the devastating earthquakes that shook Christchurch in 2011 resonated with New Zealanders far and wide.
"I was keen to provide a way for New Zealanders around the world to connect and claim their Kiwiness online. I could also see a great opportunity to provide on-going financial support for the re-building of Christchurch – one of New Zealand's most beautiful cities and my hometown."
The company, registered in New Zealand, was formed by a group of expat New Zealanders based in Vancouver and includes several prominent New Zealanders, based in New Zealand on its board of directors.
One of the directors is Peter Dengate Thrush, a barrister specialising in intellectual property, competition and internet law. He has been the past chairs of both Internet New Zealand and ICANN and has been involved in the moulding of the laws applicable to ICANN’s governance since inception.
To be able to bring this next stage of the Internet into fruition is extremely exciting, says Peter. "Over my career I have seen the Internet evolve from a place for sharing chiefly official or academic information to one that is the chief mechanism for connecting people around the globe. Being able to bring a new domain for Kiwis the world over – .kiwi – is thrilling."
.kiwi will bring a completely new option to the market for customers wishing to be associated with New Zealand on the internet, or via their email address. The domain will offer New Zealand organisations and individuals greater choice, branding creativity and the opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors, providing them an exciting way of proclaiming their identity online.
"We believe .kiwi provides a sustainable solution to the need for on-going fundraising for the Christchurch rebuild. It also provides a solution to the notable lack of choice for names in the somewhat isolated New Zealand domain name market," adds Tim.
A percentage of the revenue and profit before tax from the sale of .kiwi domains will be donated to a trust formed to receive, administer and distribute funds to Christchurch as they are earned and donated. The trust will be chaired by Sir John Hansen, a former judge of the New Zealand High Court.
Should DOT KIWI LIMITED successfully secure the .kiwi domain, the new domain is expected to be available for individuals and organisations to purchase in early 2013.