Debbie Monahan, the .nz Domain Name commissioner, blogs:
If Kiwis needed any further evidence of the value of a .nz name, hosted in New Zealand, recent stories about US Homeland Security seizing domain names held by non-US organisations should provide it. The most recent of these is a Spanish name which the courts in Spain had declared legal at the end of their legal process but which was seized by Homeland Security anyway.
This is a worry. The domain name is question was rojadirecta.org and it is registered to a Spanish company, was found to be legal by two Spanish courts, and was hosted on Spanish servers.
However the .org registry is in the United States, and even though it is meant to be a generic global domain (the US has .us), a US government agency has managed to get the domain name yanked.
In addition to the benefit of a .nz domain name identifying New Zealand, .nz Registrants also have a policy framework that protects Registrants rights and ensures that organisations like the US Homeland Security can’t just come in and seize a .nz name.
I never thought of this as a benefit of .nz, but freedom from US Homeland Security can now be added to the list.
(Note I am a director of the .nz Domain Name Commission Ltd)