Meet Your Local Cybersquatter: Dave Burghardt Who Owns TaurangaAirport.co.nz and Tauranga-Airport.co.nz

Screenshot of the abomination that is TaurangaAirport.co.nz

I was looking for flights from Tauranga to Dunedin yesterday, I searched for “Tauranga Airport” and came across www.TaurangaAirport.co.nz.

It is a hideous 1 page website that talked about car rental. Not what I was expecting at all!

I was suspicious so dug a little deeper using a “whois lookup” to find out who the owner was.

Sure enough, it’s not owned by the Tauranga Airport, but by a guy called Dave Burghardt:

REGISTRANT
Name      : dave burghardt
Address   : PO Box 2397
City      : Tauranga
Post code : 3015
Country   : NZ (NEW ZEALAND)
Phone     : +64 7 5784210
E-mail    : burghardt@xtra.co.nz

(If you are ever curious about who owns a domain name, use a whois lookup such as: www.dnc.org.nz)

I dug deeper still and found a complaint made by Auckland Airport against this guy in 2008 for owning Auckland-Airport.co.nz (note the dash: “-“) which pointed to yet another car rental business owned by Dave Burghardt. Oddly, the complaint fell through which means that the Domain Name Commissioner of New Zealand did not order that the ownership of the domain be transfered to Auckland International Airport Ltd.

Today, the domain name Auckland-Airport.co.nz is owned by Auckland International Airport Ltd therefore it looks like that Dave got the big bucks when they bought it from him.

So it got me thinking, “I wonder if Dave owned AucklandAirport.co.nz too?” (without the dash)

Using the “WayBack Machine“, I found the answer to my question, here’s what AucklandAirport.co.nz looked like in February 2008:

screenshot-of-aucklandairport.co.nz

Look familiar?

Yep, that’s Dave’s handiwork alright.

So it looks like Dave got paid the big bucks for selling Auckland-Airport.co.nz and AucklandAirport.co.nz to Auckland International Airport Limited!

I bet Dave is hoping for a repeat of that outcome by selling TaurangaAirport.co.nz and Tauranga-Airport.co.nz to Tauranga Airport Ltd, which is owned by the Tauranga City Council.

Half of me congratulates the guy for his entrepreneurial spirit, the other half of me curses him for being a dirty squatter who confuses people (because people are searching for information about Tauranga Airport and find his hideous website instead).

What do you think?

Another issue is – why are New Zealand airport’s so slow to get into the 21st century and get a website for themselves?

I still can’t find an official website for Tauranga Airport.

8 Replies to “Meet Your Local Cybersquatter: Dave Burghardt Who Owns TaurangaAirport.co.nz and Tauranga-Airport.co.nz”

  1. We do have a ‘first come, first served’ system in NZ so if the Tauranga council didn’t have the foresight to grab the domain then that’s a mistake on their behalf.
    That said .. I don’t like cybersquatters .. I especially don’t like cybersquatters that have a seemingly legit domain and then use it hock off their own wares. That annoys me quite a lot 😉

  2. Great article, Sheldon. And the key point, which you point out, is that there is no “real” Tauranga Airport website. So the public has the choice of being shunted to sites that make this bonehead a profit, or nothing. Your council should try the UDRP approach, I think.

  3. Hi Sheldon

    Thanks for taking the time to notice my
    http://www.tauranga-airport.co.nz website.
    I appreciate your effort to help publicise the site.

    By the way, are you related to that other Sheldon?
    You know, the guy from the TV show The Big Bang Theory?

    Your analysis of my history with the Auckland Airport makes interesting reading. Everyone enjoys a good yarn. And don’t worry that your feeble research has led to several glaring errors. It’s understood that you Marketing Types never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    As much as the Auckland Airport saga brings back many pleasant memories
    I must object to your bashing of my tauranga-airport website.
    Don’t be Evil.

    The site only went live a couple weeks back.
    One purpose of http://www.tauranga-airport.co.nz
    is to direct people to my car rental business.

    People also visit airport sites for flight information. Fair Enough! That’s why the first bit of editorial on tauranga-airport is a link to Air NZ’s Tauranga’s flight schedule. Trying to help people is good.

    Sheldon, I see from your various websites
    that you are a Professional Marketing Guru.
    I readily admit that I can use some help
    marketing my tauranga-airport website
    so if you have any marketing advice please let me know.

    Regards
    Dave Burghardt

    1. Hi Dave, thank you for your side of the story.

      My first piece of advice is to install WordPress rather than build the website yourself. WordPress is super-search engine friendly and easy to make it look good without any effort.

  4. I have been trading as Laserwise for the last 10 yrs,, no need any advetising as we are doing a good job and have a lot of repeat business, the next thing i know soneone who is my competitior register http://www.laserwise.co.nz and goes straight to his website,, when I talk to him regarding this he want’s $10,000 for me to buy my own name.. not only that my cutomers start to contact him as they tought its me so I was getting so many complain as they are able to trace me , so i have to change me name to http://www.laserwisetech.co.nz, some people are just so dirty and wanting to extract money and do dirty deeds,,

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