Mother and Baby

The top 20 gorgeous Māori names for your baby

Section: Baby names
New zealand baby names

If you're looking for an unusual name for your baby, what about one of Māori (indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand) descent? Whether you or your partner are from New Zealand yourselves or you simply want a unique option for your bundle of love, a Māori baby name is a great choice with some beautiful meanings.

Some of these names such as Tia and Kaia are already commonly used in the UK but did you know about their Māori heritage? 

According to the Department of Internal Affairs, check out the top 20 Māori names for boys and girls.


1. Nikau - Nikau is the name of a palm tree native to the islands of New Zealand.
2. Manaia - Manaia is a Māori name meaning Guardian of the Heaven; Land and Sea
3. Ari - A name of Hebrew origin meaning "lion of God."
4. Mikaere - The Māori form of Michael, meaning "who is like God?"
5. Koa - Meaning joy and happiness.
6. Ihaia - Equivalent to English Isaiah, this name means "God is salvation."
7. Manaaki - A Māori word meaning Cherish, Conserve, Sustain
8. Te Ariki -  This name means "The Lord."
9. Taika - Means tiger” or “horse." Taika Waititi is a New Zealand film and television director known for directing Thor. 
10. Mateo - Also a popular Spanish name, Mateo means “gift of Yahweh."


1. Mia - One of the most popular baby girl names, Mia means "mine", and is also recognized as a derivation from the Slavic word Mila, meaning "dear, darling".
2. Aria - This pretty name has origins in both Italian and Hebrew. The original meaning of the name Aria comes from the musical term meaning solo melody, specifically one that is sung, as in an opera.
3. Maia - Means "courage" or "bravery" in the Māori language.
4. Amaia - This name means "high place or end."
5. Kora - A girl's name which translates as "maiden."
6. Kaia - A lovely name if you're a sea lover as this name means "The Sea."
7. Aroha - A Māori word meaning "love",
8. Anahera - Translates as “Archangel or angel”.
9. Tiana -  A girl's name of Slavic origin meaning "fairy queen".
10. Kaea - Means "Leader" in Māori.

If none of these have made it to your list, why not try our baby name generator for more inspiration? 

Most popular:

  • Author: Emily Thorpe Emily Thorpe
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Having written for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news, product pages, features and interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Fearne Cotton, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online where she specialises in travel and product reviews. 


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