Mia, Nikau most loved Māori names for 2018

By Regan Paranihi

The list of top baby names in 2018 have been released and at the top of the most loved Māori names are Mia and Nikau, while Charlotte and Oliver remain New Zealand’s most popular baby names overall.

Registrar-General Births, Deaths, and Marriages Jeff Montgomery says registering your baby is an important step. It ensures your child has an official identity and can access their legal rights as they grow up.

“The last thing new parents want to be doing is filling out a raft of forms – SmartStart is a free, fast, and efficient way to register your child, obtain an IRD number, and even adjust a Ministry of Social Development benefit. You can complete those tasks anytime, on any device.”

Oliver has been the top boy's name for the past six years while Charlotte and Olivia have competed for the top spot since 2011.

Nikau has been seen at the top of the list for most popular Māori boy’s name for the past few years, while this year is the first time for the name Mia.

The top Māori baby names were calculated and researched in partnership with the Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission. Colin Feslier, Principal Advisor at the Commission, says Māori names have significant cultural and spiritual meaning.

“In Māori tradition, names are given to reinforce memories of past events, family members, or in reference to the qualities hoped for in the child. Whatever the specific motivation, the traditional intent is always to recognise the mana of the child within a community.”

Montgomery says, “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. It’s great that kiwis and even those overseas are engaging with our Māori culture.”

For the full list of most popular baby names, and for more information on registering your baby, visit the SmartStart website.