The SmartStart website from the Department of Internal Affairs has revealed the most popular Māori names chosen for babies born in New Zealand for 2019.
Most popular Māori baby names
In 2019, Mia was the number one choice for girls. The most popular choice for boys was Nikau.
While Mia may not be a traditional Māori name and other names in the Top 10 appear to have links to Italian or Spanish, they can work as names in te reo too. While they aren’t strictly Māori names they’re globally popular and share language connections across the world.
The use of Māori names serve as an important way to link with whakapapa (genealogy) and family history. They are also an acknowledgement of te reo Māori as an official language of New Zealand.
The name chosen may represent an elder or family member or a place that is special to the whanau. Some names, like Hahona and Rāhera , are Māori versions of English names (Jason and Rachel).
Top 10 Māori baby names for 2019