January 07, 2020
More Nikau sprouts emerging with Willow not far behind
The most popular Māori names for babies in 2019 were Nikau and Mia with the overall number of Māori names given on the increase.
A total of 18,816 different first names were given to 61,018 babies in 2019. In 2018 there were 13,668 different first names for 59,302 babies.
That’s according to the SmartStart https://smartstart.services.govt.nz website, where new parents can register their child, obtain an IRD number, and claim the $60 a week BestStart payment.
Births, Deaths and Marriages registrar general manager Jeff Montgomery says registering ensures a child has an official identity and can access their legal rights as they grow up.
“Our names are an important part of our identity, our culture, and often, our heritage. People of all different beliefs and cultures recognise that the naming of a child is powerful and significant,” he says.
Nikau remains number one for the most popular Māori boy’s name, with 48 pepi carrying that ingoa, followed by 46 called Mikaere and 45 who will answer to Ari.
Taika and Rawiri also entered the top 10.
In the Māori girls’ names, there were 167 Mias and 130 Arias.
New entrants include Tui at 9 and Ataahua at 10, with 16 parents deciding it was a name and not just a description.
Oliver topped of the list for boy’s names for the seventh year, followed by Noah and Leo.
The top name for girls was Amelia, with Charlotte second and Isla third.
New entries in the girls’ top 10 are Willow and Mila.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com