Parents must rename girl called Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii

Choosing a name for a new baby is always tricky. Should it be classical or modern? Safe or a bit zany? One can only wonder how the parents of one unfortunate girl in New Zealand came up with... Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

The girl, now nine, was not amused. She refused to tell anyone, even her close friends, her name. When her parents split and launched a custody battle, it came to the attention of a judge, who ordered her to be made a ward of court until her name was changed.

The judge, Robert Murfitt, expressed horror at a recent trend in New Zealand for giving children unusual names. Among those that had been approved by birth registration officials were Number 16 Bush Shelter, Midnight Chardonnay, and Benson and Hedges (for twins).

In the Talula case, he ordered that her name be changed, saying it was highly embarrassing and made her a target for ridicule. Her lawyer, Colleen MacLeod, told the court that the girl was so mortified she instructed her friends just to call her simply "K".

In a written ruling, Judge Murfitt declared: "The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgement which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name. It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and a handicap, unnecessarily. She fears being mocked and teased, and in that she has a greater level of insight than either of her parents."

Talula is from the city of New Plymouth, on the North Island. The judge said the problem appeared to be particularly prevalent in that area. Some children had been named after six-cylinder Ford cars, while he had recently come across a woman who wanted to call her daughter "O.crnia", using text language, but was persuaded to switch to Oceania.

Judge Murfitt said that family court judges around New Zealand were "dismayed by the eccentricity of names" that parents were giving their children.

While the goal of selecting a unique name could not be criticised, he said, "these parents have failed in exercising the first and important task of parenthood". Naming a child was not "a time to be frivolous or to create a hurdle for their child's future life". Apart from the social aspect, it could present problems when they registered for an exam, or applied for a passport or driving licence.

The ruling was handed down in February, but only became public yesterday, when it was published in the New Zealand Law Reports.

Brian Clarke, the registrar general of births, deaths and marriages, said that under New Zealand law, names must not "cause offence to a reasonable person"; be "unreasonably long" (more than 100 characters, including spaces); include an official title or military rank; or use punctuation marks, brackets or numerals.

Mr Clarke said that when parents proposed unusual names, officials would generally try to talk them out of it, pointing out the potential for embarrassment. "Often when we explain the situation to parents, we can agree on an acceptable name to register," he said.

Talula's name has now been changed but is being kept secret in order to protect the girl's privacy. The custody battle has also been settled.

What's in a New Zealand name?

Names blocked:

Fish and Chips (twins)

Yeah Detroit

Keenan Got Lucy

Sex Fruit

Stallion

Twisty Poi

Fat Boy

Cinderella Beauty Blossom

Masport and Mower (twins)

Spiral Cicada

Kaos

Nero

Hitler

Names permitted:

Number 16 Bus Shelter

Violence

Midnight Chardonnay

Benson and Hedges (twins)

Four famous name changes

Miley Cyrus

The American teen sensation, star of Hannah Montana and daughter of "Achy Breaky Heart" country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, was originally christened Destiny Hope. Nothing much wrong with that, you may think, but her childhood nickname of "Smiley Miley" (because of her sunny demeanour) eventually stuck for good. She has now formally adopted it, albeit in a slightly shorter version. She has an eight-year-old sister called Noah Lindsey, who is also in Hannah Montana, and a brother called Braison Chance.

Dweezil Zappa

Dweezil actually started off life as the relatively mundane Ian – but only because the hospital refused to register his father's original choice.

Dandelion Richards

The daughter of Rolling Stone Keith Richards and model Anita Pallenberg was clearly not happy about her hippie name and is now known as Angela.

Zowie Bowie

David Bowie's son, the inspiration for the song "Kooks" now uses the rather less exotic Duncan Jones, using his father's original surname.

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
film

"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

Arts and Entertainment
Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
music

Animal welfare charities have urged the boy band to cut the scenes

News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin married in Venice yesterday
peopleAmal and George Clooney 'planning third celebration in England'
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley at the premiere of Laggie at Toronto Film Festival 2014
theatreActress 'to make Broadway debut'
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Focused Business Analyst - Finance and Procurement System Implementation

£350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reading are...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM - A high q...

Head of ad sales international - Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you the king or Queen o...

Note Taker - Scribe

£10 per hour: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced note taker...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker