The Domain Name Commissioner has published the latest monthly stats for .nz domain names.
The net growth in March 2006 was 5,080 names which is an all-time record. The previous highest monthly growth was 3,937 in March 2000. Not sure why it is so high – possibly the ICANN conference contributed to increased awareness?
The graph above shows total names since the first records in 1993. In February 2000 we made 50,000, 16 months later in September 2001 made 100,000, April 2004 with a 2.5 year gap to make 150,000 and again 16 months to Sep 05 to make 200,000. We should hit 250,000 later this year.
The annual net increase gives a smoother view of the .nz stats and allows one to speculate on how events may have affected registrations. During the dot com boom in 99/00 the annual growth hit 35,000. In June 2000 the increases halted and started to decrease significantly so that by mid 2002 it was under 15,000. Incidentally May 2000 was when the then monopoly registry/registrar introduced a very unpopular and much criticised new registration system.
The unpopularity of that system, plus other issues such as funding of defamation suits, led to major changes within InternetNZ and agreement to move to an SRS or shared registration system with multiple registrars. This went live in October 2002 which possibly by coincidence is also when the annual increase in .nz registrations started to grow again.
Since October 2002 the annual increase has more than doubled and is now at an all time high. I like to think some of that growth is because we now do have a simple, cheap, flexible and most of all competitive registration system and market for .nz names. Getting the structure right so that competition can flourish does work!