Master of your .NZ Domain

Registration of .NZ Domain Names can have many pitfalls if not done correctly. We all too often come across a new client who has contacted us, wanting to switch over to our services, but they encounter problems due to them not being the registered ‘Owner’ (referred to as the ‘Registrant’) of their .nz domain name.

NZ Domain NamesThis means that they can’t get the UDAI (Unique Domain Authorisation Identifier) to allow the domain to be transferred into our Domain system. They may have initially had their website designed by a friend or a web design company a long time ago, who registered the domain in their own or companies name, instead of their clients name, as it should have been. This means that officially, the web designer is the legal ‘Registrant’ of the .nz domain name, and not the client it was registered for. So only the legal ‘Registrant’ on paper can be given the UDAI code to allow the transfer of the domain name to a new provider.

What does this mean?

Potentially it could be a major problem. The client who thought they were the ‘Registrant’ of the domain, isn’t actually the ‘Registrant’ on paper, so isn’t able to access the UDAI code to allow the domain to be transferred, or used for their new website. In some cases, the original ‘web designer’ may try to sell the domain back to the client for a fee. However luckily in most cases, setting of the wrong ‘Registrant’ was just a simple oversight by the web designer, and they will allow the domains ownership to be changed at nominal cost. But what happens if the web designer has disappeared and can’t be contacted, or the company it has been registered under has ceased trading, which is very common due to the high turnover in web design companies. Or what happens if the Web Designer refuses to give the domain name back, or wants a large payment in exchange for the domain?

Luckily the .NZ domain registry does have a resolution process which can be followed, but it can be costly. In many cases, the client many just choose to buy a new domain and abandon the old one. But what happens if your branding and corporate materials are all using your domain name?

[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full” icon=”none”]There is a common misconception that .NZ domains can actually be ‘owned’. However this is not the case. Infact .nz domain ‘Registrants’ only purchase a license to use the domain for the period they have paid for, and they don’t actually ‘own’ the domain.[/box]

To overcome these potential problems when registering a .NZ Domain…

We ALWAYS suggest that the owner of the domain name, manages the full registration and management of their .NZ  Domain, and that they don’t let a third party do this for them under any circumstances. Management of a domain name is simple anyway, and in our case, we give all our clients access to their domain via our .NZ Domain Manager system. Through this our clients have full control over the full domain management of their .NZ domain, via the simple to use control panel.

When using our Domain Registration services, the client who registers the domain, is the ‘Registrant’ of the domain. We NEVER register the domain under our own companies name.

If your web designer has registered the domain name for you and you are unsure if you the the legal ‘Registrant’ of your domain, you can check to make sure by using our free NZ Whois Tool, which you can access at If your name isn’t listed under the ‘Registrant’ you should contact your domain provider and demand to know why not.


Want to transfer your domain to our .NZ Domain Manager system? All you need is your domains UDAI, which you can get from your current provider, and then setup a FREE domain Manager account using the button below. Our if you want us to help you move all services, including web hosting and email services, please contact us.

[button link=”” size=”large” color=”green” window=”yes”]Setup a FREE .NZ Domain Manager Account[/button]


Another problem we have recently come across ourselves, occurred after the transfer of a domain name to a new provider. At least one domain provider we have come across, actually changes the ‘Domain Registrant’ name when the domain is transferred ‘in’ from another provider. They do this instantly when the domain is transferred. We  don’t believe the domain ownership should change on transfer, and that it should be a separate process, that both the new and old domain registrant has to agree to, so we are not sure why they do this. You may think, well I can change it back easily. Well we tried to get it changed back, and found that their automated system wouldn’t allow this, and according to their website, we would have to pay $150 per domain,  to do a change of domain ownership, and we had to fill in paper forms to do this. We have only come across one provider that has done this, but their maybe more.

Therefore, when transferring a domain, make sure you check our free NZ Whois Tool, to make sure that the Domain Registrant is set to what it should be, both before and after the transfer has taken place, to make sure it hasn’t been changed. If it does change, contact the new domain provider, and demand to know why that has happened. The end user/client using the domain name should ALWAYS be set as the ‘Registrant’ of the domain, and it should always be set to a legal entity.