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Government rejects royal names

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/04/2016

It doesn't matter how you spell it, it's hard to get away with calling your baby Royal.

That's at least according to a list of baby names rejected by the Department of Internal Affairs in 2015.

Families were kept from calling their child Royal four times last year, while Royale got declined thrice, along with one instance of both Royahl and Royaal.

On its own, the name Messiah was actually the most rejected, being declined seven times in the year.

The department is quick to point out there's no list of "banned" names, but rather Jeff Montgomery, the Registrar-General of births, deaths and marriages, makes the call on a name-by-name basis.

"A name may be disallowed in one circumstance but be allowed in another," a spokesperson said.

The three reasons for rejection include: causing offence, being too long or resembling a title or rank.

Those may explain why the 2015 rejected list also includes King five times, Prince three times along with Sarjant, Princess, Empress, Sir, Christ, Justyce and Suprintedent among many others.

If any name is found to appear to breach one of the three rules, the family are given a chance to explain.

Of about 60,000 babies born each year, fewer than 1 per cent get even looked at, and 49 were rejected in 2015, the department says.

Some of the more interesting rejected names in 2015 included four with symbols in the them, one totally blank submission, Rogue and MMMR - a Mongrel Mob acronym.

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