If you’re of Māori heritage, or even if you’re not, you should definitely check out the most popular Māori baby names below. These names are becoming more and more common every year.

The names in this list are collected from registrations of births in New Zealand and, for the first time, the list includes children born overseas.

Māori Baby Name Meaning – The importance of a name

As the resurgence of learning te Reo Māori continues to grow, and many Māori families seek to better connect their whānau with previous generations, so to are Māori baby names becoming important once again.

Māori call this concept whanaungatanga (pronounced as in ‘far – KNOW – nga – tounge – a): a relationship through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. It develops as a result of kinship rights and obligations, which also serve to strengthen each member of the kin group.

It’s very important for Māori people to connect to the land – tangata whenua – to connect to their culture – taonga toku iho – to be self-determining – Tino Rangatiratanga – and to connect to their family, or whanaungatanga. 

The passing on of Māori names to the next generation is all part of this connection, as the fibres of family, or whānau, or woven together to create a stronger community. 

Trending Māori names

top maori baby names - moana

Thanks to the power of movies, a beautiful Māori baby name ‘Moana’, which means ocean, has become very popular lately. Moana is the main character’s name in the beautiful Walt Disney film Moana. It’s a uniquely Polynesian name, shared among a number of different Polynesian languages, including Hawaiian, Tongan and Samoan.

Again, thanks to the power of movies and celebrities, another trending Māori name for boys is Taika, which means tiger, and is a very strong, powerful name. Taika Waititi is a hugely popular and famous director, writer and actor. He started from very humble beginnings filming friends with borrowed gear in New Zealand to walking red carpets on the Hollywood Boulevard!

maori baby names - taika

So, along with Moana and Taika, what are some of the other most popular Māori baby names for boys and girls?

Most Popular Māori Baby Boy Names in 2022

top maori baby names for boys

Popular Māori Boy Names
Nikau
Kai
Ari
Manaia
Kauri
Taika
Te Ariki
Tamati
Mikaere
Tane
Ihaia
Ariki
Rawiri
Kauri
Hemi
Tai
Tama
Kahurangi
Kaea
Nikora
Matiu
Tangaroa
Rawiri
Wiremu
Mana
Anaru
Manu
Teina
Paora
Hawaiki

Most Popular Māori Baby Girl Names in 2022

top maori baby names for girls

Popular Māori Girl Names
Maia
Manaia
Hei
Anahera
Hana
Wairangi
Aroha
Amaia
Ataahua
Kaea
Tia
Noa
Ria
Tui
Tiara
Koa
Kara
Makaia
Tiare
Moana
Mareikura
Ahurei
Miru
Atawhai
Kahurangi
Kahukura
Marama
Kai
Huia
Kataraina

For hundreds more baby name ideas, be sure to check out our Top 100 baby boy and baby girl names article.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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