The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Top 20 Māori boys’ and girls’ names for 2015

29 January 2016

Topping the list of the most popular Māori baby names in 2015 were Maia for girls and Nikau for boys according to Te Tari Taiwhenua, the Department of Internal Affairs.

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.

The top 20 names for girls were:The top 20 names for boys were:
1. Maia1. Nikau
2. Manaia2. Ari
3. Anahera3. Manaia
4. Ana4. Wiremu
5. Aroha5. Kauri
6. Kaia6. Mikaere
7. Hana7. Rawiri
8. Ataahua8. Ihaia
9. Tia9. Kai
10. Kora10. Manaaki
11. Amaia11. Tai
12. Tui12. Tane
13. Te Aroha13. Tamati
14. Kahurangi14. Taika
15. Awhina15. Kahurangi
16. Manawa16. Tangaroa
17. Kara17. Manawa
18. Aaria18. Ihaka
19. Rui19. Tama
20. Te Ao20. Tawhiri

Each name was carefully researched by Te Taura Whiri I te reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission, to confirm it was a Māori name.

“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”, says Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Jeff Montgomery. “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 (genealogy),” Montgomery says.

“Birth Registration is free, and registering your baby as soon as possible is an important step for all parents. Registration confirms whether your child is a New Zealand citizen, and gives your child a legal identity and the rights, responsibilities and access to support services associated with being a kiwi.”

To make it easier for parents to register their new-born child, the Department of Internal Affairs has introduced a new online Birth Registration tool. By placing the registration process online, parents can choose to register the birth of their child at a time or place that suits them.

Both parents must jointly register the birth of their children, with registration allowing a birth certificate to be issued. Birth certificates can be purchased at the same time as the birth is registered using RealMe, as well as being available for order by phone (0800 22 52 52 in New Zealand) or by visiting a Department of Internal Affairs office in Auckland, Manukau, Wellington or Christchurch. Birth certificates cost $26.50 for one certificate, or $39.80 for a decorative package of two certificates (relating to the same person).

For more information, or to register your new-born child online, please visit: How to register your baby

See also Top baby names for 2015

Media contact
Sarah-Lee Crellin
027 535 8639