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F.A.Q. for Domain Names with macrons (IDNs)

What is a domain name?

What is a macron?

What is WHOIS?

Who is my registrar?

Does the registrar for my new variant have to be the same as the registrar for my existing name?

Who should use these forms?

What is the usual way to register a domain name?

Why are we doing this?

When I type my new domain name into the browser address bar, it changes to one starting with xn-- What’s that all about?

What is Unicode?

What is Punycode?

What does it cost to have a domain name with a macron?

What is a Sunrise Period?

Why is there a Sunrise Period?

How long does the Sunrise Period last for?

How do I apply for a domain name with a macron during the Sunrise Period?

When are domain names with macrons available to everyone?

Can I have more than one name with macrons in it?

What criteria will be used to evaluate the applications?

How many options should I register?

Does the word I create using the macrons have to make sense?

What if my existing name has a double vowel in it?

Where can I find a Māori dictionary?

Where can I download a Māori keyboard?

How do I enter a macron into the form?

How do I enter a macron into the address line of my browser

Who is allowed to have a domain name using macrons?

I’ve changed my mind. I applied, but I no longer need the variants I asked for. What do I do?

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a name you can use to define your unique presence on the Internet - for example internetnz.net.nz. In the same way that your street address enables anyone in the world to send a letter to your house, your domain name is a way in which people can find your website or your email box. Computers communicate using numbers to find each other, called IP numbers. Numbers aren’t easy or natural for us to remember so the Internet uses domain names to make them memorable.

What is a macron?

A macron is used in written Māori language to show that the vowel sound in a word will be lengthened when it is pronounced. Words with and without macrons but otherwise spelled the same can have two different meanings.

What is WHOIS?

The term WHOIS commonly refers to an electronic facility to query the details of a specific domain name in the .nz register. Also known as the registry record, the WHOIS information includes contact details for the registrant and the registrar, and for the administrative and technical contacts. The WHOIS also includes details of the nameservers assigned to the domain name, and records the status of the domain name.

Who is my registrar?

Your registrar is the organisation you have chosen to manage your domain name on your behalf. If you have a .nz domain name, your registrar, and their contact details will show on the WHOIS record for your name. To find out which registrar you are using, enter your domain name into the domain search box on the top left-hand corner of our webpage at www.dnc.org.nz, select the correct suffix from the drop-down box, and press "GO". The registration record for your name will display, and it will include contact details for your registrar.

Does the registrar for my new variant have to be the same as the registrar for my existing name?

Yes. Variants that are applied for during the Sunrise Period will be managed by the same registrar as the existing name. If the application is approved, then the variant is able to be managed exactly as any other domain name - it can be transferred to another registrar or to another registrant, updated, renewed etc. But until the conclusion of the 5-day grace period, it must remain with the registrar of your existing domain name.

Who should use these forms?

If you would like to register a domain name which uses macrons, but is otherwise equivalent to the .nz domain name you already have, you should use these forms to apply now.
If you don’t already have a .nz domain name, you will be able to register a .nz domain name with macrons any time after the launch date - 26 July 2010. After the launch, .nz domain names with macrons will be able to be registered through any .nz authorised registrar in the usual way.

What is the usual way to register a domain name?

You should contact a .nz authorised registrar to register any domain name. They will need to arrange payment with you, and you will need to accept the terms and conditions for registration. Each registrar offers a variety of services and pricing packages - you should choose the registrar whose services will best meet your needs. A full list of .nz authorised registrars is available at www.dnc.org.nz/registrars.

Why are we offering IDNs in .nz?

IDNs are an issue for .nz given the five macrons in the Māori language, and the desire to enable the use of them in .nz domain names. Macrons cannot be introduced without implementing IDNs. IDNs use the twenty-six letters of the Latin alphabet (a-z), the ten digits (0-9) and the hyphen (-) in a specially encoded format that permits the representation of a larger selection of characters from many scripts. In .nz, only the characters ā, ē, ī, ō and ū will be encoded.

When I type my new domain name into the browser address bar, it changes to one starting with xn-- What’s that all about?

Computers use domain names to find each other on the Internet. The domain name is a code for the IP number of the computer. The xn-- code is simply a code for a domain name that includes characters that are not easy for the computer to recognise. So, for the domain names that .nz is introducing in July 2010, behind the scenes, the computers will be looking for specific codes to translate the new characters (ā, ē, ī, ō and ū) into IP numbers. Some browsers will show the name with the macrons in the address bar, others show the xn-- names.

What is Unicode?

Unicode is the name that has been given to the extended character sets that can be used in domain names. In .nz domain names, only the characters ā, ē, ī, ō and ū will be added to the standard character set.

What is Punycode?

Punycode is the name given to the computer-readable names for the expanded character set. The xn-- names are coded in Punycode. Ask your technical advisors for more information about Punycode.

What does it cost to have a domain name with a macron?

.nz domain names with macrons are registered through your .nz authorised registrar in the same way that all other .nz domain names are. It is for your registrar to set the price for the services that they offer. Each registrar offers a variety of services and pricing packages, and you should choose the one that best meets your needs.

What is a Sunrise Period?

The .nz IDN Sunrise Period has been established to allow us to phase in the new .nz domain names in a way that is fair to the holders of existing .nz domain names. During the Sunrise Period, only current .nz registrants can apply for .nz domain names with macrons that are otherwise identical to the existing name. So, for example, InternetNZ who are the registrant for the name internetnz.net.nz could apply to become the registrant for īntērnetnz.net.nz - all aspects of the name are the same, apart from the macrons on two of the vowels. During the Sunrise Period, only InternetNZ can apply for this name. After the launch date, any eligible registrant can choose a name, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Why is there a Sunrise Period?

We have put the Sunrise Period in place to reduce the number of instances where disputes may arise over the registration of the new names. As each registrant has the chance to register their existing name when no-one else can have it, there should be few instances where the new name is registered to an organisation which has a dispute with the current registrant of the existing name.

How long does the Sunrise Period last for?

The Sunrise Period begins on 6 April 2010 and concludes on 6 July 2010.

How do I apply for a domain name with a macron during the Sunrise Period?

Registrants of .nz domain names can use the forms on our website here

When are domain names with macrons available to everyone?

.nz domain names with macrons will be available to all eligible registrants from the launch date of 26 July 2010. From that date, domain names with macrons are available to anyone, whether the equivalent name without macrons has already been registered or not.

Can I have more than one name with macrons in it?

Yes. If the name you have registered has more than one vowel, then you can register as many variants as you need or want for it, as long as the consonants are one-to-one matched. For example, for internetnz.net.nz, the following seven variants would be possible:
īnternetnz.net.nz; intērnetnz.net.nz; internētnz.net.nz; īntērnetnz.net.nz; īnternētnz.net.nz; intērnētnz.net.nz; and īntērnētnz.net.nz

What criteria will be used to evaluate the applications?

Applications will only be accepted when the registrant for the current .nz domain name matches the applicant for the variant, and the name requested matches the existing domain name exactly, apart from the new characters for the vowels.

How many options should I register?
That’s entirely up to you. There is no obligation on a .nz registrant to register any or all of the available options of their current .nz name. Each name registered will incur the usual fee charged by the registrar, so you should base your decision about the number of variants you wish to apply for by considering the costs and benefits to your organisation of each new registration.

Does the word I create using the macrons have to make sense?

No. Just as the domain name you originally registered could include any combination of letters and numbers, so can the variant including the macrons. There is no requirement for the new domain name to be linguistically correct.

What if my existing name has a double vowel in it?

Applying for a domain name with macronised double vowels, or a macronised vowel in the place of a double vowel is a manual process and we may not allow all applications, as it will depend on what is being requested. The intention is that replacing a double vowel with a macronised vowel should create a true word, probably Maori. As an example, book.co.nz cannot be bōk.co.nz (where the macron is used to denote the double vowel), but could now be boōk.co.nz, bōok.co.nz, or bōōk.co.nz. You should email the macronised domain name you wish to apply for, with your existing domain name, to info@dnc.org.nz, we will then contact you for further information.

Where can I find a Māori dictionary?

Māori dictionaries are available in hard copy form, or online. Try http://www.learningmedia.co.nz/ngata or search the internet for alternate publications.

Where can I download a Māori keyboard?
Typing the macrons in a document requires additional software over and above that installed as default on many computers. The type of software that you need depends on the sort of operating system that you run. A range of software options for downloading the Māori keyboard are available at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~kimihia/maori-keyboard - you should choose the keyboard option that best suits your needs. Seek help from your usual desktop support person if you require further assistance.

How do I enter a macron into the form?

For the purposes of the application form on these web-pages, the macrons are a simple toggle - click the symbol with the mouse - each click of the mouse changes the vowel from the macron to the normal letter and back again.Once you have downloaded the software for the Māori keyboard onto your computer, inserting a macron into a document is an easy matter. Each keyboard has its own shortcuts for typing the macrons - see the instructions that were provided when you downloaded the software.

How do I enter a macron into the address line of my browser?

As above. Use the shortcuts recommended by your keyboard provider to insert the letters into your browser address bar.

Who is allowed to have a domain name using macrons?

Any eligible registrant for a .nz domain name can have a .nz domain name with macrons. All identifiable individuals over the age of 18 years, or properly constituted organisation can be a registrant for a .nz domain name. During the Sunrise Period, only the existing registrants of .nz domain names are able to apply for the domain names with macrons.

I’ve changed my mind. I applied, but I no longer need the variants I asked for. What do I do?

Before launch date (26 July 2010) you can cancel your application by emailing us at idn@dnc.org.nz and telling us which variants you no longer require. We will terminate the processing of your application when you tell us you do not require the variants.
Within the 5-day grace period beginning on 26 July 2010, you are able to contact your registrar, and cancel the name. Names cancelled within the 5-day grace period will not incur a cost. After this time, cancellation will not necessarily result in a refund - you should check with your registrar about this.