News Watch

Messed-Up Monikers: Judge Declares Child Ward of Court to Change Her Silly-Ass Name

New York Lawyer
July 25, 2008

By The Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A judge expressed dismay about a New Zealand trend of giving children bizarre names, as he made a 9-year-old girl a ward of the court so her name could be changed from Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt, in a ruling made public today, cited a list of unfortunate names that he said were embarrassing or made children seem foolish among their peers.

Some names, including Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit, were blocked by registration officials, he said. But others were allowed, including Number 16 Bus Shelter, Midnight Chardonnay "and, tragically, Violence," the judge said.

The names were mentioned in Murfitt's decision on a custody battle over the 9-year-old girl from the North Island town of Hawera, who was so embarrassed at the name her parents had given her -- Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii -- that she never told her closest friends what it was.

She told people her name was "K" because she feared being "mocked and teased," the girl's lawyer, Colleen MacLeod, told the court.

"The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name," Murfitt wrote.

Murfitt ordered that the court take custody of her until the name could be formally changed, which has since occurred and the custody dispute settled, Family Court Manager Midge Shaw said today.

The new name was not made public, to protect the girl's privacy.

The ruling was handed down in February but only came to light today when it was published in the New Zealand Law Reports.