The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


It’s a double O double for 2016’s top baby names

6 January 2017
There’s no room for Hillary, Donald, Adele or Richie in the top ten baby names registered in New Zealand in 2016 with Olivia and Oliver topping the list for the second year in a row.

The arrival of Princess Charlotte in 2015 couldn’t quite spark a takeover at the top of the girl’s list while Leo rocketed into the top ten of the boy’s list having traditionally been outside the top 20.

With nearly 61,000 births recorded in 2016, the top 100 names make up only a small proportion of all names given to babies, with over 18,000 unique first names registered for children born last year.

Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages Jeff Montgomery says it is important that babies born in New Zealand are registered as soon as possible.

“Registering your baby is free, and it’s an important step for all parents. Registration gives your child their legal identity and the rights, responsibilities and access to support services associated with being a New Zealander.

“We know that having a baby can be a busy time for new and expectant parents, and it can be hard to keep track of everything you need to do. That’s why we’ve just launched our new innovative online tool - SmartStart.

Jeff says SmartStart is the one place to go for step-by-step information to help parents and babies get off to the best start.

“It’s easy to register your baby through SmartStart, as well as getting an IRD number for your child, adjusting your Ministry of Social Development benefit or updating a Working for Families application.

“Being able to do all of this in one place, at any time, on any device saves time and means that parents no longer need to fill in multiple forms.

“An added bonus of SmartStart is the ability to log in to add your due date, see your personalised timeline and checklist, and keep track of your progress.” Jeff says.

2016 top girls’ names (2015 place in brackets):

1. Olivia (1)
2. Charlotte (2)
3. Isla (7)
4. Harper (3)
5. Ella (6)
6. Amelia (9)
7. Emily (5)
8. Mia (8)
9. Ava (15)
10. Sophie (4) 2

2016 top boys’ names (2015 place in brackets):
1. Oliver (1)
2. Jack (2)
3. William (3)
4. Mason (6)
5. James (4)
6. Hunter (7)
7. Noah (11)
8. Lucas (14)
9. Leo (24)
10. Max (13)

For more information on SmartStart and to see the full list of the top baby names between 1954 and 2016 please visit: