Most popular Maori baby names

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(SIOBHAN DOWNES, stuff.co.nz)

“Brave warrior” and “palm tree” are the translations for the most popular Maori baby names of 2012.

“Maia” for girls and “Nikau” for boys topped the list of the top 20 most popular Maori baby names last year.

The names were sourced from the first names of 19,000 Maori babies, data provided by Births, Deaths and Marriages of the Department of Internal Affairs.

The list was released for Maori Language Week 2013, Te Wiki o te Reo Maori, whose theme is Nga ingoa Maori, or Maori names.

“New Zealanders are always interested in names and this week is a great opportunity to release the top 20 Maori boys’ and girls’ names,” registrar-general of Births, Deaths and Marriages Jeff Montgomery said.

“Names carry memories, they link back to your history your whakapapa. Maori names are unique in the world and it is not just Maori who are choosing Maori names for new additions to their whanau.”

The Maori Language Commission said it was pleasing to see the names were becoming a popular choice for a range of whanau and families.

“It’s great that Maori names were given to so many babies last year,” chief executive Glenis Philip-Barbara said.

“Names connect people to place, and we’d like all New Zealanders to consider the wealth of connection that Maori names offer.”

Top 10 Maori names for babies in 2012

Girls

Maia
Aria
Manaia
Anahera
Ataahua
Aroha
Tia
Ariana
Kaia
Kahurangi

Boys

Nikau
Wiremu
Kahurangi
Kauri
Nikora
Tane
Tamati
Rawiri
Anaru
Tai

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