Maori Language Week: Top Maori boys' and girls' names

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Tamati Coffey. Tamati comes in at 5th place of the most popular Maori boys' name.
Tamati Coffey. Tamati comes in at 5th place of the most popular Maori boys' name.

The most popular Maori baby names in 2013 were Nikau for boys and Aria for girls, the Department of Internal Affairs today confirmed.

The department released the top 20 Maori baby names for 2013 in association with Maori Language Week 2014, Te Wiki o te Reo Maori.

Registrar-General Jeff Montgomery said the five most popular baby names for Maori girls were Aria, Maia, Ariana, Anahera and Anika.

For boys, the top five Maori names were Nikau, Ari, Wiremu, Niko and Tamati, he said.

Boys' names represented the biggest change from 2012, he said.

"Ari and Niko did not appear in the 2012 list.

"For girls' names, Anika has made a large jump from number 18 last year to fifth, and Aria and Maia have swapped first and second place."

The top 20 Maori names for 2013 were:

Boys

1 Nikau
2 Ari
3 Wiremu
4 Niko
5 Tamati
6 Hemi
7 Nikora
8 Te Ariki
9 Rawiri
10 Tane
11 Mikaere
12 Manaia
13 Kahu
14 Tangaroa
15 Kauri
16 Ariki
17 Manaaki
18 Tama
19 Ihaia
20 Matiu

Girls

1Aria
2 Maia
3 Ariana
4 Anahera
5 Anika
6 Aroha
7 Kora
8 Tia
9 Kaia
10 Ana
11 Ria
12 Tiare
13 Mereana
14 Nia
15 Tui
16 Wikitoria
17 Hinewai
18 Mahi
19 Terina
20 Mareikura

The figures were collected from registrations of birth in New Zealand in the 2012-2013 financial year and did not include children born overseas.

"Although there is no need for children born overseas to register their birth in New Zealand, grandparents with mokopuna born in other countries can encourage the parents to register their pepe as New Zealand citizens by descent," he said.

Maori Language Week, Te Wiki o te Reo Maori, was a great opportunity to release the top 20 Maori boys' and girls' names," Mr Montgomery said.

"Maori names are unique in the world - they connect to your history and your whakapapa."

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori chief executive Pita Paraone said Maori names were an important way of linking with whakapapa

"We're pleased that so many whanau are maintaining tupuna names through the generations. Maori names are a way of connecting with te reo Maori and Maori culture."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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