3 July 2013
Top 20 Māori boys’ and girls’ names released
The Department of Internal Affairs has released a list of the top 20 Māori baby names for 2012 in association with Māori
Language Week 2013, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.
The five most popular baby names for Māori girls in 2012 were Maia, Aria, Manaia, Anahera and Ataahua. For boys, the top
five Māori names were Nikau, Wiremu, Kahurangi, Kauri and Nikora, says Registrar-General of Births Deaths and Marriages,
“New Zealanders are always interested in names and this week is a great opportunity to release the top 20 Māori boys’
and girls’ names. Names carry memories, they link back to your history your whakapapa. Māori names are unique in the
world and it is not just Māori who are choosing Māori names for new additions to their whānau.
It’s also really important for new parents to register the names of their newborns with Births Deaths and Marriages.
Birth registrations are the first step to creating a record for your child and their entitlement to the benefits of
living in New Zealand.”
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori Chief Executive (CE) Glenis Philip-Barbara welcomes the release of the names for Te Wiki o
te Reo Māori, whose theme is Ngā ingoa Māori, or Māori names.
“It’s great that Māori names were given to so many babies last year,” says Glenis Philip-Barbara.
“Names connect people to place, and we’d like all New Zealanders to consider the wealth of connection that Māori names
Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori says that Māori names are unique in the world and it is pleasing to see that they are
becoming a popular choice for a range of whānau and families.
A smaller number of iwi specific names were identified such as Mahinarangi (originally from the East Coast, and also
Waikato) and Waimirirangi (from the far north).
“Many of our tipuna names will not feature on the list as they are names that are personal to whānau and hapū.”
The more popular names show that a new generation of mokopuna continue to be gifted names that are often unique to their
own whānau, hapū and iwi.
Top 20 Māori names for babies in 2012
Note: the names for Māori babies are sourced from data provided by Births, Deaths and Marriages of the Department of
Internal Affairs. The results are for the first name given to nineteen thousand Māori babies (by descent) registered in
2012. The analysis found that Māori girls are more likely to be given Māori names.