Court orders name change

Last updated 00:57 24/07/2008

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Some parents have been branded abusers because of the bizarre names of their children.

Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt stated his concerns in a written decision after a custody hearing in New Plymouth revealed a couple had named their child Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

He was so disturbed at the effect on the nine-year-old that he ordered her temporarily placed under court guardianship so a suitable name could be chosen.

 "It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap," he said.

The girl, who had not had her birth officially registered in NZ, had not revealed her name to her friends.

The judge was stopped talking yesterday by Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier.

Meanwhile, Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages Brian Clarke released a statement today which said a list of unusual names believed to be registered in New Zealand issued by Judge Boshier's office was incorrect.

"The names Fish and Chips, Masport, and Mower, Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit have not been registered," Mr Clarke said.

Names on the list from Mr Boshier's office that were not corrected included: Spiral Cicada, Kaos, Hitler and Cinderella Beauty Blossom.

Mr Clarke said names can be declined for registration if they may cause offence to a reasonable person, are unreasonably long (generally more than 100 characters) or resemble an official title or rank.  Names using numerals will also be declined.

Brian Clarke says that while legislation gives the Registrar-General the authority to decline a name or combination of names, the applicant can have that decision to decline reviewed by the Courts. 

"Where, in my view, a name cannot be registered we will normally discuss this with the parents or guardians before giving our decision. Often when we explain the situation to parents we can agree on an acceptable name to register."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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