Email domain hosting

We look at your options for New Zealand-hosted email.

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When Vodafone shut its email services this year, we received queries from members asking how they could keep their emails in New Zealand. While Vodafone recommended customers sign up with webmail providers Gmail and Outlook, they are hosted on overseas servers.

Having an email address that isn’t tied to your internet service provider (ISP) is a good option as it makes changing ISP easier. However, there are privacy concerns with storing data, such as emails, on overseas servers. Whatever data you store on an overseas server is subject to the laws of that country. Microsoft recently won a case against the US government after the tech giant objected to Hotmail emails being seized from an account stored on a server in Ireland.

What are your options for New Zealand-hosted email?

Your best option is registering your own domain name and using a local email-hosting company. Domain names are a website’s address, such as, but registering one doesn’t mean you have to create a website. You can use a domain for email only. Having your own domain also means you can create multiple email addresses. Registering means you could have and as email addresses. The number of email addresses you can have is usually unlimited.

While it might sound daunting, setting up your own domain is as easy as following these steps:

Acquire a domain name

You can find available options on the Domain Name Commission website ( While you can’t register a name on this site, it does list the sites where you can (called registrants). Registering a domain name doesn’t mean you own it, rather you rent it. When registering, you specify how long you want it. Your options will range between one and five years. Registering costs about $30 per year, but varies between companies. If you use a company that hosts and registers your domain, try getting a package deal. A word of warning: if you forget to pay the “rent” on your domain name, someone else can snap it up and it’s a case of tough bickies.

Hosting and setup

Picking a hosting company is important. If you haven’t used one to register your domain name, you’ll need one now to host and store your emails. Be sure to choose an email host with plenty of space (look for at least a gigabyte if you’re wanting personal email addresses). Hosting companies charge about $5 a month and help you set up the email addresses linked to your domain name. If you want your data stored in New Zealand, there are a few hosting sites claiming to have servers and support based here. To be sure, we recommend contacting them and asking where their servers are physically located before signing up.

Access your email

For anyone moving from an ISP-provided email, such as Vodafone, to their own domain email, they have similar options for accessing emails. The majority of email-hosting sites include a webmail portal so you can log in from a browser on any computer or mobile device. Many also provide access through Outlook or another email client that can be installed on your computer. The hosting company should be able to help you set these up as each service has different settings.

Member comments

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Mark M.
30 Mar 2020
Domain Names and the cheapest service available.

I am currently using Freeparking for my annual domain name renewals , but I feel the cost fast out paces the service .
What alternatives do New Zealanders have.
Thanking you in anticipation .


Sara M.
29 Sep 2020
domain name provider

totally agree. Freeparking have been great, I've used them for about 20 years, but they're resting on their laurels. Price going up, and they're at the high end already, and nothing to do but a computer tick annually.
They're now so automated that I overpaid, after a reminder, but they say they have no way of repaying that. I'm looking elsewhere

Greg C.
09 Dec 2017
Email messages are not private.

The perception that emails are a private communication is completely unfounded. People need to realise emails are not private. When you hit send the message is published to everyone. You have no control over where the message goes, what servers it passes through or stored on, is forwarded, copied, archived, modified, or delivered to the intended recipient. The email RFC, the technical document that describes and defines email, introductory summary statement can be paraphrased; email is an ad-hoc messaging system with best effort delivery. Nowhere in the RFC is there any requirement for privacy of message content. Therefore to state privacy concerns as a consideration of establishing an email service is disingenuous. If you establish an email service with a New Zealand based provider and you send a message to an address on another New Zealand based provider there is no guarantee that the message will not be routed via offshore servers for delivery.