Most popular Māori baby names in 2015

By Kimiora Kaire-Melbourne

The Department of Internal Affairs has released a list of the most popular Māori baby names in 2015.

Topping the list of Māori girls names was Maia and Nikau was the most popular boys name.

The top 20 names for girls were:

  1. Maia
  2. Manaia
  3. Anahera
  4. Ana
  5. Aroha
  6. Kaia
  7. Hana
  8. Ataahua
  9. Tia
  10. Kora
  11. Amaia
  12. Tui
  13. Te Aroha
  14. Kahurangi
  15. Awhina
  16. Manawa
  17. Kara
  18. Aaria
  19. Rui
  20. Te Ao

The top 20 names for boys were:

  1. Nikau
  2. Ari
  3. Manaia
  4. Wiremu
  5. Kauri
  6. Mikaere
  7. Rawiri
  8. Ihaia
  9. Kai
  10. Manaaki
  11. Tai
  12. Tane
  13. Tamati
  14. Taika
  15. Kahurangi
  16. Tangaroa
  17. Manawa
  18. Ihaka
  19. Tama
  20. Tawhiri

Each name was carefully researched by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori, to confirm it was a Māori name.

The figures were collected from all births registered in New Zealand in the year from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 and do not include children born overseas.

Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Jeff Montgomery says, “Many parents choose a Māori name for their child to honour their commitment to the Māori language and to symbolise their identity as a New Zealander. It’s pleasing to see non-Māori people choosing to use te reo in this very personal way.

We have also seen some beautiful traditional names being chosen, which exemplify the richness of Māori language and culture. Names like Tangaroa and Kahurangi carry on powerful connections to a child’s ancestors and whakapapa.”

The Department of Internal Affairs has introduced a new online Birth Registration tool that allows parents to register the birth of their child at a time or place that suits them here.