Top 10 baby names for New Zealanders in 2018

Must See 10/01/2019

The list of 2018's most popular baby names has been released, with Oliver taking the crown for boys' names for the sixth year in a row while Charlotte was highly favoured for girls.

The rankings, released by the Department of Internal Affairs, also show Nikau and Mia as being the most loved Māori names for boys and girls respectively.

Although Oliver and Charlotte have been popular names for years for each sex, with Olivia and Charlotte swapping back and forth several times since 2011, they each had some close competition.

Isla was the second most popular girls' name with 229 babies being graced with the name in 2018, only four less than Charlotte. Olivia came in third with 211.

For the boys, Oliver had a count of 293, followed by Jack with 273 and Noah with 243.

The top 10 list for each sex are nearly the same as in 2017. Isabella and Ella joined the list for girls, while Mila and Sophie fell slightly out of favour. Arlo was the only boys name not returning to the top 10, with Leo instead entering.

Records available from Internal Affairs go back to 1954 where John was the top boys name and Christine was popular for girls.

Amazingly, none of the 2018's 10 most popular girls name appear in the top 100 list from 1954, showing a dramatic change in taste for Kiwi parents.

Nikau has been the most popular Māori boys name for the last few years, but Mia takes the top spot for the first time.

Colin Feslier, principal advisor for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the Māori Language Commission, which assisted Internal Affairs with the list, said Māori names have significant cultural and spiritual meanings.

"In Māori tradition, names are given to reinforce memories of past events, family members, or in reference to the qualities hoped for in the child. Whatever the specific motivation, the traditional intent is always to recognise the mana of the child within a community," he said.

"Non-Māori who bestow Māori names can do so to recognise and reinforce the links between all who live in New Zealand through te reo Māori, a language for us all."

Jeff Montgomery, the registrar-general for births, deaths and marriages for Internal Affairs, said naming a child was significant.

"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," he said.

Mr Montgomery said registering a child was important to ensuring the child has an official identity and can access their legal rights.

Top 10 boys' names:

  1. Oliver
  2. Jack
  3. Noah
  4. Leo
  5. Hunter
  6. George
  7. William
  8. Lucas
  9. James
  10. Mason

Top 10 girls' names:

  1. Charlotte
  2. Isla
  3. Olivia
  4. Amelia
  5. Harper
  6. Ella
  7. Isabella
  8. Emily
  9. Mia
  10. Ava