Five things you might not know about .nz domain names

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1. The anatomy of a domain name

name metaname.co.nz
status Active Active is the normal state for names. Names go PendingRelease for 90 days when they expire during which time only the registrant can reinstate the name. Names are Available if they have either never been registered, or were registered but have been released
registered 2009-05-05T18:43:37+12:00 Computer people like to write dates like this so that when they sort them alphabetically they come out in date order too, which is the sort of thing they do in their spare time. Don't invite them to parties or you'll find them in the pantry sorting your dates. This date is in ISO8601 format and is the date and time when the domain name was registered
billed until 2014-11-05T18:43:37+13:00 The date on which the name will expire unless renewed. If you pay for a 12 month extension then 12 months should be added here otherwise your registrar is in breach of .nz policy
registrar details Metaname Name and contact details for the registrar
registrant contact details Metaname Name and contact details for the registrant
admin contact details Metaname Name and contact details for the "admin contact"
technical contact details Metaname Name and contact details for the "technical contact"
list of name servers ns1.metaname.net These are the authoritative name servers for the domain, which answer queries from the zone

Terminology

2. Using your registrar's name servers is average

If you use your registrar's name servers and then want to transfer your domain name to another registrar then you have to copy your zone ( where the A records live with the other resource records) to the new registrar. This is time-consuming and error-prone.

Use a name server provider separate from your registrar so that there is no barrier to you moving your names around.

3. Your UDAI should be kept safe and secret

A UDAI is a code for each domain name that looks like this:

     oCh5va6i

The UDAI is all the authority you need to transfer a domain name to another registrar. With the UDAI in hand you do not need any co-operation from the existing registrar unless you are using your registrar's name servers ( see Thing #2)

Registrars should not store UDAIs. Even the registry only stores a "digest" of your UDAI. This ensures that the UDAI is fresh ( works when you try to use it). Stale UDAIs usually mean that the UDAI was stored, which is bad.

4. You should be listed as the registrant for your domain names

As a registrant, you have the right to your UDAI. Registrars are obliged to provide the UDAI to the registrant of a domain name upon request. If you are not listed as registrant ( the "registrant of record") then getting your UDAI can be difficult.

To check that you are the "registrant of record" for a domain name:

  1. Go to The DNC web site
  2. Write your domain name in the box in the top-left hand corner of the page
  3. Press the "SEARCH" button
  4. Look for the contact details in the registrant section

If you are not listed then please ask whoever registered the name on your behalf to change the domain name so that your details are on record. This can affect your rights to the name in the case of a dispute.

5. Authorised registrars are responsible for their resellers

The DNC considers that .nz authorised registrars are responsible for the conduct of their resellers. If you are having trouble with a registrar who is reselling domain names via a .nz authorised registrar then you are entitled to request your UDAI from the authorised registrar ( As long as you are the "registrant of record". See Thing #4) and they are obliged to provide it to you.

If a reseller is in breach of .nz policy then the authorised registrar is in breach. Don't let them give you the run-around. Providing a UDAI is a simple, quick operation that can be accomplished from the web portal of any good registrar.