Nikau remains the most popular name for Maori boys born last year while Aria takes the top spot for girls from Maia, a survey shows.

The Registrar-General, Jeff Montgomery, put together the list for Maori Language Week and said the five most popular baby names for Maori girls in 2013 were Aria, Maia, Ariana, Anahera and Anika.

For boys, Nikau was No 1 followed by Ari, Wiremu, Niko and Tamati.

Mr Montgomery said Ari and Niko did not appear in the 2012 list while Anika had made a large jump from No 18 last year to fifth in the girls' list, and Aria and Maia had swapped first and second place.


The data shows that names such as Kahurangi and Manaia appear to be popular for boys as well as girls.

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

Mr Montgomery said it was the second survey - the first was last year. The Department of Internal Affairs and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori worked together on the project.

"Te Wiki o te Reo Maori is 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."

Acting chief executive of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori, 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," Mr Paraone said.

Top M?ori names
2013 (2012)
1. Nikau (Nikau)
2. Ari (Wiremu)
3. Wiremu (Kahurangi)
4. Niko (Kauri)
5. Tamati (Nikora)
6. Hemi (Tane)
7. Nikora (Tamati)
8. Te Ariki (Rawiri)
9. Rawiri (Anaru)
10. Tane (Tai)


2013 (2012)
1. Aria (Maia)
2. Maia (Aria)
3. Ariana (Manaia)
4. Anahera (Anahera)
5. Anika (Ataahua)
6. Aroha (Aroha)
7. Kora (Tia)
8. Tia (Ariana)
9. Kaia (Kaia)
10. Ana (Kahurangi)