New Zealand parents ‘unable’ to name their babies ‘King’

Lazy eyes listen


The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs has published a list of the most popular baby names chosen in 2022, as well as the names most frequently chosen by parents that are not permitted by authorities.

The name King, which has ranked first in New Zealand since 2009, is at the top of the most-rejected list. The name was rejected nine times by the country’s health authorities last year.

Saint was rejected eight times in 2022, as were Royal (seven), Messiah (four), Prince or Princess (seven), Sovereign (three), and Sire (three) (two). Names on the list include Duke, Empres, General, Justice, Major, Queen, Rogue, Royale, Saynt, and Soulijah, all of whom were rejected at least once last year.

According to Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages Jeff Montgomery, New Zealand has special guidelines in place to ensure that children’s names “don’t cause offense, are a reasonable length, and don’t represent an official title or rank.”

When naming their newborns, New Zealand health officials advise parents to avoid swear words, official titles, numeric characters, and symbols, and to use no more than 70 characters.

Names that do not meet these criteria are reviewed on an individual basis by the registrar-general. The registrar-general weighs the significance of the name to the family against how it may be perceived by the public when making a decision.

In terms of the most popular names in 2022, Oliver topped the list for the tenth year in a row for boys, followed by Noah and Leo. Isla was the most popular girl’s name, followed by Amelia and Charlotte. Riley was the most popular gender-neutral name in 2022.