The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Top baby names 2022

09 January 2023

After being second place in 2021, Isla is back at the top for most popular girl name in New Zealand for 2022. Isla has been in the top three every year since 2016. Oliver remains at top for most popular boy name for the 10th year in a row. [A full list of the top names is available at SmartStart.]

The most popular gender-neutral name for 2022 was Riley.

A total of 18,041 different first names were given to a total of 59,711 babies that were registered in 2022. In 2021 there were 56,013 births were registered in Aotearoa, with a total of 16,790 different first names.

Two new additions have made it to the top ten girl names in Aotearoa. Harper sits at 9th place and Sophie at 10th. They replace Isabella and Ella, which were 8th and 10th place in 2021, respectively.

Hudson is also new to the top ten boy names in Aotearoa, coming in at 9th place. Hudson replaces Lucas, which was the 7th most popular name for boys in 2021.

This year, the top Māori names will be released around the time of celebration for Matariki in Aotearoa.

Every year, the Registrar- General, Jeff Montgomery, shares the most common baby names in New Zealand. This information is gathered from SmartStart, a website that provides new and expectant Kiwi parents with step-by-step information and support to help them access the right services for them and their baby.

Registering your baby in New Zealand is an important first step in ensuring that your baby has an official identity, allowing them to access their legal rights as they grow up.

“During a time that can be overwhelming and of financial stress, the last thing new parents want to be doing is filling out a raft of forms. SmartStart is a free, fast and easy way to register your child”, says Jeff Montgomery.

Through SmartStart, new parents can apply to receive the Best Start payments. They are also able to apply for IRD number for their babies and add them to their Ministry of Social Development benefit.

Tracking baby names data is one of the ways in which Te Tari Taiwhenua (the Department of Internal Affairs) works to create a sense of belonging and collective memory that builds an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.