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New Zealand’s most popular baby names for 2019

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

There’s a new name at the top of New Zealand’s most popular baby names list.

Amelia has overtaken Charlotte as the most popular name given to girls; Oliver remains New Zealand’s most popular baby name for boys.

Nikau and Mia are the most popular Māori names, followed by Mikaere and Aria.

The full list of top baby names is available on SmartStart, an online tool for new parents.

Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General Births, Deaths and Marriages, 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. Doing so is now even easier as SmartStart centralises those services in one easy to use site.

"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, receive the $60 a week BestStart payment, obtain an IRD number, and even adjust a Ministry of Social Development benefit. You can complete those tasks anytime, on any device," says Mr Montgomery.

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.

This is the seventh year Oliver has made the top of the list for boy’s names. While Amelia has been in the top 10 since 2011, Charlotte and Olivia have swapped first and second place many times over that period.

Charlotte topped the list in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018, and was ranked second most popular this year. Isla came in third. Noah is the second most popular name for boys and Leo the third.

Willow and Mila are new entries in the girls’ top 10, while Sophie and Ruby make a re-appearance, as do Thomas and Charlie in the boys’ top 10 list.

Nikau remains number one for the most popular Māori boy’s name, having topped the list for the past few years. It’s the second year Mia has topped the list for girls’ names. Taika and Rawiri enter the top 10 Māori boys’ names, and Tui and Ataahua make it into the top 10 Māori girls’ names for the first time since records began.

Mr Montgomery says that the increased popularity of Māori names worldwide was exciting to see.

"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 to see more Māori names being registered," he says.

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