From 1pm on 30 September 2014 it will be possible to register .nz domains.
In a similar fashion to how Nominet launched their .uk domains recently, existing holders of .co.nz domains will be given priority rights.
However, unlike in the UK, the New Zealanders are running the Preferential Registration Eligibility (PRE) period for 6 months only.
It’s also a relatively complicated system for designating what rights a registrant may have. From their FAQ:
Two groups of Registrants are eligible for PRE. The two groups are:
Group 1 – Registrants who registered a .nz domain name prior to 9am on 30 May, 2012, and who have kept it current. Depending on their situation, these Registrants could be classified as either PRR or Conflicted.
Group 2 – Anyone who has a unique .nz domain name that was registered between 9am on 30 May 2012 and 3pm on 11 February 2014 (and who has kept it current). An example of this would be of someone registering anyname.net.nz during this period with no other examples registered before or during this time frame (e.g. there is no anyname.co.nz, anyname.school.nz, anyname.org.nz or any other version). These Registrants can only be classified as having PRR as there is no provision for Conflicted names in this group.
The “conflicts” part is an interesting issue, as New Zealand has so many second levels for registrants to choose from.
The Preferential Registration Eligibility (PRE) period will begin at 1pm, 30 September 2014 and end at 1pm, 30 March 2015.
The registry has launched a dedicated site to help educate users about the new options and their possibilities for registration.