120 Best New Zealand Names

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Feb 16, 2024 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Nov 13, 2020
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Adorable young girls playing with water guns on hot summer day.
Age: 0-99
Read time: 9.9 Min

Choosing the perfect baby names is always a big responsibility for parents.

The baby's name should have an appealing meaning. A meaningful name makes your baby special and important.

New Zealand names are mostly of English origin or Maori origin. Maori are a group of indigenous Polynesian people in New Zealand. It is quite interesting to note that many names are illegal and banned in NZ, like Allah, Duke, Gunner, Messiah, etc. So, one has to do thorough research before getting the baby's name. Luckily, we have got a plethora of New Zealand baby names and meanings to choose from.

If you want to know more about names from different countries and origins, you may want to look at our other articles on Māori Names and Australian Girl Names.

Top 10 New Zealand Names

Happy young girl engineer with helmet

Top baby names are always a top priority when searching for baby names. The most common and popular names in New Zealand are Charlotte and Oliver. Check out this list of top 10 NZ baby names.

1. Amelia (F) meaning "work". It is the English variant of the German word amal. Amelia Kerr is a famous New Zealand cricketer.

2. Charlotte (F) (French origin) meaning "free". Charlotte Lawlor was a New Zealand poet and writer.

3. Isla (F) meaning "dynamic" or "vibrant".

4. Jack (M) meaning "God is gracious". Jack Lasenby was a writer from New Zealand.

5. James (M) (Hebrew origin) meaning "supplanter". James Franklin is a New Zealand cricket coach

6. Noah (M) (Hebrew origin) meaning "rest or peace".

7. Oliver (M) meaning "olive tree". Oliver Driver is a New Zealand actor.

8. Olivia (F) (Latin origin) meaning "olive tree". Olivia Spencer Bower was a famous New Zealand painter.

9. Ruby (F) meaning "red gemstone".

10. William (M) meaning "with gilded helmet" or "protector" in Old Germanic languages. William Reeves was a New Zealand politician and historian. William is quite a popular name in New Zealand. William as a baby name comes with a royal touch.

Popular New Zealand Names For Girls

These baby names are popular because they are some of the top baby names out there. If you want some great girls' names for your baby, take a look at this list of New Zealand girl names and meanings.

11. Audrey meaning "noble strength".

12. Beverly meaning "from the Beaver stream". Beverley Randell is a New Zealand children's author.

13. Christabel meaning "follower of Christ".

14. Daisy meaning "day's eye". One of the most popular names found in  New Zealand.

15. Edith meaning "prosperous in war". This name is associated with the famous New Zealand writer Edith Howes.

16. Ella meaning "fairy maiden". It is one of the best girls' names from New Zealand.

17. Emily meaning "to strive" or "rival". Emily Perkins is a New Zealand author.

18. Evelyn meaning "desire" or "wished-for child". Evelyn Williamson is a New Zealand triathlon athlete.

19. Eve meaning "life". This is a great choice for girls' names.

20. Georgia meaning "farmer".

21. Harper meaning "harp player".

22. Hazel meaning "hazelnut tree" or "a color". One of the popular names for a girl with hazel eyes.

23. Jacinda (Spanish origin) meaning "hyacinth". This name is associated with Jacinda Ardren, the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

24. Janet meaning "God's gracious gift". Janet Charman is a poet from New Zealand.

25. Kate meaning "pure". Kate Harcourt is a popular New Zealand actress.

26. Lily meaning "a flower symbolizing purity and innocence".

27. Lucy meaning "light". This name is associated with Lucy Hockings, a BBC news presenter and event host from New Zealand.

28. Scarlett meaning "red or scarlet color".

29. Violet meaning "purple or blue flower". Violet August Roche was a New Zealand journalist.

30. Willow meaning "from the willow grove".

Popular New Zealand Names For Boys

Cute little boy aspiring to be a paleontologist

Popular names never go out of fashion. Check out this incredible list of popular baby names for boys from New Zealand.

31. Archer meaning "one who excels at archery" or "bowman".

32. Arthur meaning "noble" or "courageous", after Arthur Shelby, a character from the tv series 'Peaky Blinders'.

33. Austin meaning "great" or "magnificent". This name is associated with David Austin, a New Zealand-based actor.

34. Blake meaning "dark-haired".

35. Braxton meaning "Brock's town".

36. Carter meaning "transporter of goods by cart".

37. Charlie meaning "free man". It is a nickname for the name Charles.

38. Cooper meaning "barrel maker". Trelise Cooper is a fashion designer from New Zealand.

39. Daniel (Hebrew origin) meaning "God is my judge", after Daniel Witwicky, the protagonist of the 'Transformer' series.

40. Emmett meaning "entire" or "universal". Emmett Skilton is a New Zealand actor.

41. Harvey meaning "battle worthy". This baby name is a good choice for boys' names.

42. Hunter meaning "one who hunts". This is a perfect choice for boys' names.

43. Liam (Irish origin) meaning "Guardian" or "protector".

4. Mason meaning "one who works with the stone". Mason Durie is a New Zealand professor of psychiatry and research.

45. Riley meaning "rye clearing".

46. Thomas (Greek origin) meaning "twin". Thomas Andrew was a New Zealand photographer.

47. Tyler meaning "maker of tiles". It is one of the most popular New Zealand boy names.

48. Vernon meaning "alder tree". Vernon Brown was a New Zealand architect and university lecturer.

49. Wayne meaning "wagon driver". Wayne Mason is a New Zealand musician.

50. Xavier (Basque origin) meaning "new home".

Unisex Baby Names From New Zealand

Gender-neutral names have a special charm. They are neither too pretty nor too macho and will be a perfect choice for a baby name. Here is a unique list of some of the gender-neutral popular baby names.

51. Addison meaning "child of Adam".

52. Arlo meaning "armed hill".

53. Ashley meaning "ash tree meadow". Ashley Bloomfield is a New Zealand public health official.

54. Billie meaning "resolute protector".

55. Chris meaning "bearer of Christ". This baby name is associated with the New Zealand actor Chris Rankin.

56. Ernest meaning "serious" or "resolute". This name is associated with Ernest Rutherford, a scientist from New Zealand.

57. Fletcher meaning "arrow-maker", after James Fletcher, a New Zealand industrialist.

58. Harley meaning "hare's meadow".

59. Madison meaning "son of Mathew".

60. Quinn (Irish origin) meaning "descendent of Conn". This is a unique name for boys and girls.

Top 10 Popular Māori Baby Names

Maori baby names are often associated with beautiful sounds that prevail in evocative meanings. Being one of the main settlers, they have gained popularity as some of the best NZ baby names. Here is a fabulous list of the top 10 popular baby names of Māori descent.

61. Ana (F) meaning "gracious and satisfying"

62. Areta (F) meaning "of a noble kind". Areta Koopu is a New Zealand social worker and Maori activist.

63. Maia (F) meaning "mot".

64. Maru (M/F) was the Maori God of freshwater.

65. Moana (M/F) meaning "ocean or sea". Moana is the protagonist of the Disney animated film 'Moana'.

66. Rawiri (M) meaning "the beloved" or "adored one". Rawiri Paratene is a New Zealand stage and screen actor.

67. Rehua (M/F), the Maori star God with the power of healing.

68. Taika (M) meaning "tiger". This baby name is associated with the New Zealand film and television director and actor Taika Waititi.

69. Tayne (M) meaning "the God of the light".

70. Tui (M/F) meaning "parson bird". Tui McLauchlan was a painter from New Zealand.

Top 10 Maori Baby Names For Girls

Maori girl names sound unique and make a good choice for your baby. Check out this list of top 10 Maori names for girls.

71. Anahera meaning "a majestic and very powerful angel".

72. Aroha meaning "love, mercy and almost a very compassionate person". Aroha Awarau is a journalist and playwright from New Zealand.

73. Ataahua meaning "beautiful".

74. Haeata meaning "dawn".

75. Hauku meaning "dew". This is a perfect choice for girls' names.

76. Kahupeka was a Maori healer in the 1400s.

77. Kahurangi meaning "blue" or "honorable". It is a type of greenstone in New Zealand.

78. Kora meaning "companion."

79. Marama meaning "moon" or "light". This name is associated with Marama Davidson, a New Zealand politician and member of Parliament.

80. Whina meaning "helper" or "kind girl".

Top 10 Maori Names For Boys

Maori boys' names are special and can make your baby stand out. These popular baby names are rich in culture. Here is a great list of the top 10 popular Maori boy names for you to take a pick.

81. Ariki meaning "principal chief".

82. Ihaia meaning "God is your Salvation". This name is associated with Ihaia West, a New Zealand rugby union player.

83. Kauri meaning "tree".

84. Mikaere meaning "who is like God".

85. Nikau meaning "palm tree". This is one of the most popular Māori boys' names.

86. Oriwa meaning "olives". Oriwa Haddon was a New Zealand artist.

87. Rangi meaning "sky". Rangi was the God of the sky in Maori mythology.

88. Rongo meaning "peace", is the Maori God of crops and peace.

89. Tawera meaning "morning star". This is a perfect name for boys from New Zealand.

90. Wiremu meaning "determined protector". Wiremu Tamihana is the leader of Ngāti Hauā tribe in nineteenth-century New Zealand.

New Zealand Last Names

Some last names can be also used as first names. Check out this list of popular last names from NZ.

91. Abbott meaning "priest" or "head of a monastery". This name is associated with the New Zealand actress Cortney Abbot.

92. Brown meaning "a color", after Jacquie Brown, a New Zealand TV presenter and actress.

93. Edwards meaning "son of Edward".

94. Harris meaning "son of Harry". Claire Harris is a photographer and mixed media artist from New Zealand.

95. Miller meaning "mill keeper", after Henry Miller, a New Zealand politician.

96. Parker meaning "keeper of the park". Craig Parker is a popular New Zealand actor.

97. Scott meaning "a person from Scotland", after Rosie Scott, a New Zealand novelist.

98. Simpson meaning "son of Simme".

99. Smith meaning "metal-worker", after Kevin Smith, a popular New Zealand actor and musician.

100. Stewart meaning "steward" or "house guardian".

101. Taylor meaning "tailor".

102. Thomson meaning "son of Thomas". Shane Thomson is a former New Zealand cricketer.

103. Walker meaning "fuller of cloth". Lisa Walker is a contemporary New Zealand jeweler.

104. Watson meaning "son of Walter or Watt".

105. Williams meaning "son of William". Claudia Williams is a famous New Zealand tennis player.

Biblical Baby Names From NZ

Many of the popular NZ names are of Biblical (or Hebrew) origin. If you are seeking a religious name for your baby, take a look at this list of biblical names from New Zealand.

106. Abigail (F) meaning "my father's joy".

107.Benjamin (M) meaning "son of my right hand".

108. Elijah (M) meaning "my God is Yahweh". Elijah Just is a New Zealand football player.

109. Elizabeth (F) meaning "God is my abundance". Elizabeth Colenso was a missionary from New Zealand.

110. Ethan (M) meaning "firm" or "strong".

111. Hannah (F) meaning "favor" or "grace".

112. Isabella (F) meaning "God is my oath". Isabella Andrews was a New Zealand writer.

113. Jacob (M) meaning "seizing by the heel" or "supplanter". Jacob Oram is a retired New Zealand international cricketer.

114. Joshua (M) meaning "God is Salvation".

115. Mary (F) meaning "beloved" or "drop of the sea".

116. Micah (M/F) meaning "who is like God?"

117. Nathan (M) meaning "gift from God". Nathan Astle is a retired New Zealand cricketer.

118. Samuel (M) meaning "heard by God". This name is associated with the nineteenth-century New Zealand politician Samuel Stephen.

119. Sarah (F) meaning "princess". Sarah Laing is a New Zealand cartoonist and author.

120. Zachary (M) meaning "God has remembered".

Kidadl has lots of great baby names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for New Zealand names then why not take a look at Australian Boy Names, or for something different take a look at Australian Last Names.

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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