Australian reporter Kirsten Drysdale names her baby Methamphetamine Rules

Split-screen of Kirsten Drysdale and her son, with a screenshot of her son's birth certificate with the name 'Methamphetamine Rules'
That's P, for short. Photo credit: A Current Affair / WTFAQ

Prince, Princess, Saint, Messiah - all forenames that were rejected by the Registrar-General last year for failing to meet New Zealand's naming guidelines. However, an Australian reporter has now taken bonkers baby names a step further - by calling her newborn son 'Methamphetamine Rules'.  

Yes, methamphetamine - the potent, destructive, highly addictive drug, also commonly known as meth, P, or ice. That's the nicknames sorted.   

Speaking to A Current Affair, reporter Kirsten Drysdale revealed the alarming appellative for her newborn child was all in the name of journalism. As a presenter on the ABC programme WTFAQ, she and her fellow reporters endeavour to answer viewers' burning questions in a comedic but informative format.   

Drysdale explained that viewers had been asking the show to investigate the legal guidelines and parameters around baby names in Australia, but she couldn't get a clear-cut answer from the Department of Deaths, Births and Marriages.

For context, all proposed baby names in New Zealand must be approved by the Registrar-General, who will use several criteria to determine whether the name is acceptable. For example, there are guidelines in place to ensure that names are a reasonable length, don't cause offence, and don't represent an official title or rank.

"What we were trying to find out was what the registrar names a baby if the parents don't come up with an acceptable name, because that's what actually happens if parents don't lodge a name that's acceptable," she told A Current Affair host Ally Langdon.  

"So, we thought, well, we're in the perfect position to find out... we'll lodge a name that's so outrageous that it couldn't possibly be accepted."  

However, the name was approved - much to Drysdale's shock.   

"I knew there was in theory a very, very, very small risk that there could be some kind of human error or a system failure. But I really didn't think this would happen," she said.  

Drysdale said she was assured all applications were screened by registry staff rather than automated systems, and the chance of the name being approved was incredibly low.

After informing the department of the mishap, a staffer admitted that in this instance, the name had "slipped through".

Drysdale is now in the process of having her son's name corrected, she said, adding: "The registry have been really good at working through this with us, acknowledging that it shouldn't have happened, and we're going through the process of getting a correction done - so it won't follow him around forever."  

In New Zealand, names that do not meet the criteria can be reviewed by the Registrar-General on a case-by-case basis. In the instance that your baby's name is reviewed, you are given the opportunity to present the reasoning behind it: the significance of a name to the family is considered on balance with how the name may be perceived by the public, and the Department of Internal Affairs' obligations under the relevant legislation.  

As per the Registrar-General, here are some tips for ensuring your baby's name meets the criteria:   

  • avoid official titles, using numeric characters or symbols, like a backslash or a punctuation mark  
  • avoid swear words  
  • limit the name to no more than 70 characters  
  • register the name via Smart Start - it's the quickest and easiest way to register a birth.