The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Top 10 Māori baby names of 2022 - English version


Maiea te rewanga o Matariki ki runga, maiea te Aitanga a Tiki ki te whenua
When Matariki rises to the surface, it signifies the rising of a new generation

Te Tari Taiwhenua has released the top 20 Mâori baby names for 2022.

Aroha/Te Aroha for kōtiro and Ariki/Te Ariki/Teariki for tama are the top two Māori pēpi names.

Since 2013, the Department has been publishing a list of the top Māori baby names. Typically, this list has been released in early January, but going forward the publication will be for Matariki. Given this change in reporting timeframe and our revised approach, we cannot easily compare this year’s top names with names from other years.

A full list of the top names is available at SmartStart

This year, we have changed our approach to how we determine what names should be included on the list as our top names. In the past, our approach was that for a name to be included on the list, it needed to include vowels and consonants that appeared in the Māori alphabet.

Our new approach involves a thorough review of each name's origins and a comprehensive evaluation by internal advisors and a kaumātua group. The chosen names are then sent to Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori for a final review.

Background on changes

We sought advice from Haemata Ltd on how the Department should determine what names should be published. Following their guidance, we have developed a new three-step process:

1. We develop an initial long list by extracting all the names from our birth registration data that meet the following conventions:

· The vowels are limited to I, e, a, o, u (and their long forms)
· Consonant choice is limited to p, t, k, m, n, ng, wh, r, h, w
· All names must end in a vowel

2. Each name is then carefully considered and checked.
3. Our list is discussed with our kaumātua and then our recommendations are checked with Te Taura Whiri.

In the past, our approach was that, for a name to be included on the list, it needed to include vowels and consonants that appeared in the Māori alphabet.

Our names cover the period of Tuesday 21 June 2022 to Sunday 9 July 2023. These dates are linked to the Tangaroa lunar calendar period, associated with Matariki. These dates align with the advice provided by the Matariki Advisory Committee, when the public holiday dates were confirmed.

Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki
Mānawa maiea te ariki o te rangi
Mānawa maiea te Mâtahi o te Tau
Tīhei Matariki e!
Celebrate the raising of Matariki
Celebrate the raising of the lord of the sky
Celebrate the raising of the new year

Top Māori baby names

Tama – Boy

Ariki/Te Ariki/Teariki121

Kōtiro – Girl

Aroha/Te Aroha170
Atarangi/Te Atarangi81


Media desk
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