25 Jul 2008

Court orders name change for Taranaki girl

5:57 pm on 25 July 2008

The Family Court has ordered a name-change for a Taranaki girl whose parents called her "Talula does the Hula from Hawaii".

Judge Robert Murfitt ruled the name makes a fool of the child and gives her a social disability by leaving her open to ridicule and suspicion.

The birth of the child, now aged 8, had not been officially registered when the case came to court in Hawera in February.

In a written decision, the judge said the embarrassed girl did not tell friends her real name for fear of being mocked and teased.

The child's court-appointed lawyer will choose a new name in consultation with her parents, who are separated, and subject to court approval.

Judge Murfitt says judges are frequently dismayed by children's names, which in Taranaki include "Midnight Chardonnay", "Number 16 Bus Shelter", and "Violence".