Top 20 Māori baby names for 2016 released

A list of the most popular Māori baby names in New Zealand and overseas has been released by Te Tari Taiwhenua – The Department of Internal Affairs.

The list documents the top names from 2016 and Te Taura Whiri researched the names to validate they were in fact Māori.

The most popular name for girls both in New Zealand and overseas was Maia. The most popular boys name in New Zealand was Nikau and the name Kai topped the overseas list.

Ngahiwi Apanui, CEO of the Māori Language Commission says as awareness and value for te reo Māori in Aotearoa grows, more and more children are receiving Māori names.

“There are a number of reasons parents may give a child a Māori name.

“For some it may be about carrying on whānau and ancestral names and for others it may be about connecting a child with the land of its birth, Aotearoa.

“This is a positive thing and we look forward to the time when Māori names for all New Zealanders becomes commonplace,” says Ngahiwi.

Below is the full list of names