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According to the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs and the Maori Language Commission (Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori), the country’s most popular Maori names during the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015 were Maia and Nikau.
Here are the top 10 Maori girl names and boy names of 2014/2015:
The top 10 lists above are fairly different from the Maori baby name rankings of 2013. (I don’t believe a 2014 list was released.)
One confusing difference is the absence of Aria and Ariana. Were they reclassified as non-Maori? Otherwise, Aria and Ariana should have come in first and third on this list, given how popular they’ve been in New Zealand overall lately.
Also confusing is the fact that the rankings don’t refer to corresponding periods of time. The 2013 list covers April 2012 to March 2013, whereas the 2015 list covers July 2014 to June 2015.
Maia and Nikau weren’t among New Zealand’s top ten baby names of 2015, but they did appear in the top 100: Maia was ranked 34th for girls, Nikau 97th for boys.
Source: Most popular Maori baby names in 2015
New Zealand’s top Maori baby names of 2013 were announced last month.
According to the Department of Internal Affairs and the Maori Language Commission (Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori), the country’s most popular Maori names of 2013* were Aria and Nikau.
Here are the top 20 Maori girl names and Maori boy names of 2013:
8. Te Ariki
This is the second-ever official list of popular Maori names, and it’s very different from the first list (2012). Notably, half of the girl names and nearly half of the boy names above are brand new. Two of the newbie boy names, Ari and Niko, now rank 2nd and 4th respectively.
The only Maori name on the list of popular baby names in New Zealand (top 25 of 2013) is Aria, ranked 24th.
*Actually, they’re the top Maori names given during the “2012-2013 financial year,” so, between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013.
Source: Maori Language Week: Top Maori boys’ and girls’ names
A conversation with commenter elbowin a couple of weeks ago prompted me to do a bit of research on Maori names. And what did I stumble upon while doing that research? An official list of the top Maori baby names of 2012:
|Baby Girl Names
||Baby Boy Names
14. Te Ariki
16. Te Koha
The list was created using data from the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry of NZ’s Department of Internal Affairs. How?
The results are for the first name given to nineteen thousand Maori babies (by descent) registered in 2012. The analysis found that Maori girls are more likely to be given Maori names.
So, they tallied up and ranked all the Maori names given to babies of Maori descent. (In case you’re wondering, 61,178 babies were born in New Zealand in 2012 and 33% of these babies were of Maori descent.)
I do wish the press release had included some raw numbers, or at least mentioned what percentage of Maori babies got Maori names in 2012. Because, without this information, there’s no way to know what sort of influence (if any) Maori babies getting Maori names had on the overall 2012 list.
For instance, the top two Maori girl names, Maia and Aria — which aren’t exclusively Maori in origin — ranked 30th and 38th nation-wide. Would they have ranked as well if they hadn’t been so popular among the Maori specifically?
Anyway…it’s a cool list, regardless. Thanks, elbowin, for all the thoughtful comments. :)
Sources: Top 20 Maori boys’ and girls’ names released, Births and Deaths: Year ended December 2012