Bilingual .Kiwi: A gTLD Role Model

Guest post by Tim Johnson, Chief Executive Officer Dot Kiwi Ltd
It would be an understatement to say that ICANN’s new gTLD programme hasn’t been without controversy. Indeed, the programme has challenged many industries, it threatens business models and will undoubtedly incur unwanted costs on unwilling parties. A change of this magnitude was never going to be an easy undertaking. However, not being easy does not equate to not being worthwhile. So while those opposed sing their song, those who embrace the change quietly go about their plans for innovation and improvement on the web.

At Dot Kiwi (.KIWI) innovation and choice are core fundamentals for what we do, and how we do it. We like to bring fresh thinking with a can-do attitude that’s founded on common sense – you might say this is the kiwi way. This approach lead us to look at some very specific topics, including topics that we discovered had long been overlooked. One of which was the role of the Māori language in domain names, and what protective measures could be employed to prevent abuse and cyber-squatting of certain sensitive names.

With the assistance of Karaitiana Taiuru and the NZMIS, we developed an initial strategy to protect and promote Māori language in .KIWI domain names. Some of the key features included:

  • Protection of Māori god names
  • Protection of all Iwi names
  • Protection of the Māori .KIWI equivalents of some current .NZ 2LDs. (e.g.
  • Immediate support for macronised .KIWI domain names

We believe that these protective measures represent the first occasion of a gTLD registry recognising the value and significance of culturally sensitive strings. Additionally, a .KIWI domain name will be available with macronised vowels from day one, further improving the user experience of the only TLD capable of 100% Māori language domains.

We’re really excited about the opportunities made possible through the introduction of .KIWI domains, and believe we are only scratching the surface. Our next challenge is how we can innovate this space even more, and further promote the Māori language within domain names. This is unchartered territory within the gTLD space and we will be looking to NZMIS for assistance as we move forward . We would be particularly interested and welcoming of ideas from members of NZMIS.

You can register your support at our website – be sure to include a note to let us know if you would like to talk directly with us.


Tim Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Dot Kiwi Ltd

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