Every year a number of parents try to register names for their baby that are declined by the New Zealand Government. Find out what the banned names from 2018 were.
It obviously comes as a surprise to some parents there are laws governing what you can and can’t name your child.
But every year a number of names that parents try and register get declined by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Some of the reasons names are declined have religious significance, due to being part of the Commonwealth, to protect the rights of the child, or because the name is too long, too short, or just silly.
Are there laws about naming your child?
Under New Zealand law, parents are free to be creative when naming their baby. While there are no “banned” names in New Zealand, there are certain boundaries in place.
Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, says the guidelines make sure the names don’t cause offence, are a reasonable length, and don’t unjustifiably resemble an official title or rank.
For example, you’ll need to rethink swear words, names of more than 70 characters, numerals or anything unpronounceable, like a backslash or a punctuation mark.
What names can you not name your child?
So there are definitely names that you cannot name your child.
If a name appears to fail the guidelines, it can be reviewed. The parents have an opportunity to present their reasons for the name, and these may or may not be accepted by the Registrar-General, on a case-by-case basis.
Of the nearly 60,000 babies born in New Zealand each year, less than 1% of babies have their name personally considered by the Registrar-General.
Going by this list it would appear you cannot name your child after royalty, or anything that in any way resembles a royal title. You’ll get the boot if you try to register anything like:
- Emprah, or
You also clearly can’t name your child just a number. You’ll get declined if you really wanted to call your child:
- III, or
And, it seems, that some names with a religious connotation, or perhaps a religious title will also get a big, red, rejected stamp on your application form:
- Zdiam-Bishop, or
Finally, and I’m not sure if this one really needs discussing, but unlike Prince you can’t just call your baby a symbol like fullstop, or backslash:
Banned Baby Names from 2018
Here’s the full list of baby names from 2018 that were declined by the Registrar-General:
|Declined Baby Name|
Banned Baby Names from 2017
And, here’s the list of baby names declined from 2017:
|Declined Baby Name 2017|