Elle (theroadtoelle) wrote,

NZ naming restrictions

Prompt: All of us are located in different places on this globe and with that comes quirky laws. Some are downright hysterical that they even exist and some are really restrictive. Tell us about some in your area and how they affect you.

When you have lived your entire life in a country, 'quirky' laws are generally something that you're used to and don't see as strange. There have been a few major law changes in my lifetime - one making it illegal for parents to smack their children, and one making it legal for people of the same sex to marry. I was against the anti-smacking law, and definitely pro the marriage equality law.

New Zealand has had some strange laws in the past that have caused controversy. At one point it was illegal to speak the Maori language in New Zealand schools. Now it is law that the Maori language must be incorporated into all public schools - across the curriculum, not separated out as its own subject. I grew up with Maori being integrated into my education. We sang Maori songs, learned to count in Maori, learned to name body parts in Maori, and studied aspects of Maori history. This was normal to me. I do think it's good too, so I don't mind my children being in that integrated environment.

For me, the most amusing law is the one regarding what parents are allowed to name their children. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the law. In fact, I'm in favour of it. Some parents are idiots, and it's not fair to saddle their children with horrific names. But perhaps it is too restrictive. We are not allowed to use any title or rank in our child's name. So we can't call our child Justice, King, Princess, Prince, Royal, Duke, Major, Bishop, etc. We can't use numerals or symbols, nor can the name be a single letter. Was I going to use any of the restricted names for my own children? No, but I can see that some parents would chafe at the restrictions.

Where it gets really bizarre though, is when you go into the list of names that the courts in New Zealand have rejected. So, these are names that parents have chosen for their children, and the NZ courts have intervened and said no to.

Lucifer (requested 6 times)

Mafia No Fear





Yeah Detroit

Fish and Chips (twins)

Twisty Poi

Keenan Got Lucy

Sex Fruit

I mean seriously, what kind of cruel, vindictive parent names their kid Anal? That is horrific. And Lucifer? Why?!

The list made headlines when a 9 year old girl was taken out of her parents' custody so that her name could be changed. They named her Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. No shit. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. She refused to tell any of the kids at school what her name was, and went by 'K', until the courts intervened. Can't say I blame her.

Sometimes stupid names slip through the cracks. There have been twins named Benson and Hedges (after the brand of cigarettes), Violence, Midnight Chardonnay, and of all the horrific things to call your child, Number 16 Bus Shelter.

So yes, as a parent in possession of a conscience and common sense, I am in favour of the naming restrictions my country has. And honestly, some people shouldn't be allowed to have children.
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