146 Maori Baby Names With Meanings

Kiwis prefer names that have a special meaning and connection, either by tradition, culture, or an experience. So what better than giving your children a Maori name? Being the Indigenous people of New Zealand, Maoris form an integral part of the nation. And if you ask us, there are plenty of other good reasons to give your child a Maori name. It will recognize your Maori heritage, honor your admired ancestor, and stand out from the crowd of today’s trendy names.

Maori baby names have beautiful sounds and evocative and interesting meanings, which is why there are incredibly popular, not just with the Aboriginals, but also urban settlers. The first names are often given at birth, inspired by the event or circumstances. In some cases, children can be given a different name, this time again, influenced by events or circumstances. Before the arrival of Pakeha, Maori did not use surnames. But it’s now mandatory for Maoris to have a family name, which should be the father’s name. And it isn’t required for women to change their surnames after marriage.

Below is MomJunction’s wide selection of Maori names with meanings. Click on the links to get full details on the name.

IwaYew or eveGirl
IwiNation, tribe or realmUnisex
KaheruDigging instrument, or decorative wreathGirl
KahikateaPine tree found in New Zealand. A variation of Kahikatea.Girl
KahikatoaManuka or red pine treeGirl
KahuHarrier hawk, or cloakGirl
KahuiwiCloak particular to a certain tribe in New Zealand.Girl
KaihautuLeader, a man or woman with leadership qualitiesUnisex
KakarauriDusk, or garment of darknessGirl
KamakaKamaka means rock in the Maori languageUnisex
KaoriKaori means The Rope of the Bird SnaresGirl
KatarineKatarine means The one who is PureGirl
KiriThe name means Tree BarkGirl
KiritopaKiritopa is a variant of Christopher and means bearer of Christ.Boy
KorakaKoraka means A South Island ChiefBoy
MaakaMaaka is the Maori version of Mark. It means consecrated to the god Mars.Boy
MahakaA Ngati Kahungunu ChiefBoy
MahuikaMahuika is the name of the Maori Goddess of Fire.Girl
MakaretaMakareta is the Maori form of Margareta. It means pearl.Unisex
MaramaShe is like the moonGirl
MarcellinMarcellin is a form of Marc and means from Marcus or refers to the Roman god of war.Boy
MarcellinoMaori is the Maori of Mark and means from Marcus.Boy
MatiuGift of GodBoy
MereMaori version of Mary. It means bitter.Boy
NgaioThe image or mirror image on the water places.Girl
NgaireA silver-colored fernGirl
NyreeThe most praised person. The most graceful. of the Islamic Prophet.Girl
PaniaName of a beautiful sea maiden in Maori mythology.Girl
PounamuA treasured gift.Girl
PurtaA person who i mythicalBoy
PutaA mythological personBoy
RangiSky, or god of the skyBoy
RapataBright fameBoy
RongoPeace, peace loving peopleUnisex
RopataA variant of Rapata. It means bright fame.Boy
RuruA Maori word for morepork, New Zealand's native owl.Boy
TanemahutaMan, or god of the forestsBoy
TangaroaGod of the sea, or god of fireBoy
TaweraA morning starBoy
TaynThe God of lightBoy
Tino ArohaOne who is loved and adored by all.Girl
TipeneTipene is the Maori version of Stephen. It means crown.Boy
TuiA kind of bird which eats honey always as food.Unisex
WhinaHelper, a helpful and kind girl.Girl
WikitoriaVictorious. A Maori variation of Victoria.Girl
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