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105 Fascinating Maori Names

Updated
Celebrate the sea and Maori culture with these fascinating Maori names for boys and girls.

Maori names make a unique and interesting way to celebrate the culture of these first inhabitants of New Zealand. Polynesian, Hawaiian, and Maori names have become more familiar since the popular movie Moana and the success of New Zealand movie maker Taika Watiti.

If you’re looking for Maori names for your precious child, we have an extensive list of possibilities! From Maori names honoring legends to names for wildlife and nature, you’re sure to find a beautiful match for your sweet baby.


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105 Most Popular Maori Names for Boys and Girls

Soak in the beauty of island life with these cool Maori names for kids!

Aata

Both meanings of Aata – bear and stone – describe a man who is steadfast and strong! This makes a great Maori boy name for a family that loves wildlife, although, ironically, there are no bears on the islands of New Zealand.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Bear, stone
  • Pronunciation: AHH-tee
  • Popularity: Aata is an unusual name in the U.S. and New Zealand.
Heroic, Nature-loving

Ahere

Ahere could be a great name for a family that values resourcefulness and practicality! Snaring birds to eat would have been an important family contribution. The fact that there’s a female Polynesian name to celebrate this gift of providing for a family makes Ahere a great Maori girl name.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Bird snare
  • Pronunciation: AA-hhiy-reh
Practical

Ahurewa

Ahurewa’s meaning would make it a great Maori girl name for a family that values spirituality and religion. It could indicate a sacred place for tribal people of the past or a place that you consider sacred today. Either way, it’s a beautiful name from the kiwi island of New Zealand!

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: A sacred place
  • Pronunciation: ah-hu-REH-wah
  • Popularity: Ahurewa is not a popular name in the U.S. and New Zealand.
Religious

Aihe

Aihe could be an excellent choice for a sea-loving little girl! As an island nation, New Zealand and the Maori people have plenty of ocean-related names, but this one for beautiful, sleek dolphins is especially lovely.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Dolphin
  • Pronunciation: ay-HHEH
Nature-loving, Free-spirited

Aio

Aio is a pretty, gentle name that sounds like its meaning – peaceful. It’s a sweet name for a little girl. It’s also a great choice for putting positive vibes into the world, and everyone can agree with the idea that peace is a wonderful trait to have.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Peace
  • Pronunciation: AAH-eeoh
  • Popularity: Aio is not a popular name in the U.S.
Sweet

Akahata

Akahata’s meaning of “supreme” is quite a name to live up to! As parents, you can interpret baby name meanings however you’d like. Your baby boy could be supremely kind, driven, or supreme in many ways, depending on your family values.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Supreme
  • Popularity: Akahata is an unusual boy’s name in the U.S. and New Zealand.
Heroic, Cool

Akenehi

Akenehi’s meaning can indicate a girl who is pure of thought, thinking of lovely and praiseworthy things. It’s a sweet name for a little girl and a lovely reminder of traditional virtues.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Chaste & pure
  • Pronunciation: AA-keh-neh-hhiy
  • Popularity: Akenehi is not a common name in the U.S.
Sweet, Traditional

Akona

Although Akona Ndungane is a male, the name is usually used for females. Its enthusiastic meaning is a wonderful one for a little girl! Celebrate and encourage her to be excited about life in general and all the amazing things she’ll discover as she makes her way in the world.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: To enthuse
  • Pronunciation: a-KO-na
  • Variations: Akonah, Akonna, Akonnah
  • Namesakes: Akona Ndungane, a former South African rugby player.
Free-spirited, Sweet, Adventurous

Amahau

Amahau’s meaning of gathering is a very practical one when it comes to tribes that likely needed to gather many things to survive. A boy who gathered would have been a useful member of the family and the larger tribe. It’s a sweet name for any baby that’s an important part of his family.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: To gather
  • Popularity: Amahau is an unusual name in the U.S.
Practical

Amaia

Amaia has several origins and meanings, but one origin is as a beautiful Maori girl name! The image of softly falling night rain makes this a lovely name for a nature-loving family. This would also be a great-sounding first name for families with longer surnames.

  • Origin: Arabic, Maori, Basque
  • Meaning: Night rain, high place
  • Pronunciation: uh-MEYE-uh
  • Variations: Amaya
  • Namesakes: Amaia Salamanca, a Spanish television actress.
  • Popularity: Amaia was #640 among the top 1,000 most popular girl names in the U.S. in 2021. It’s a very popular Maori name among New Zealanders.
Nature-loving, Beautiful
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Amara

Although Amara is a unisex name, it’s most popular as a girl’s name in the U.S. and New Zealand. It’s a beautiful name that can mean gracious. It would sound especially lovely with a short, one-syllable middle name.

  • Origin: Maori, Italian, Igbo
  • Meaning: Bitter, gracious
  • Pronunciation: ah-MAH-rah
  • Namesakes: Amara Miller, an American child actress known for her role in the Oscar-winning movie The Descendants.
  • Popularity: Amara is a popular Maori name in New Zealand. It was in the top 200 most popular names for baby girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Trendy

Amiria

Amiria is the Maori version of Amelia. It’s a great Maori girl name if you’re looking for a twist on a traditional name in the United States. Thanks to its industriousness meaning, Amiria would also be an excellent choice for a family that values dedication and working hard to achieve your dreams.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Hard worker
  • Pronunciation: aa-MIY-riy-aa
  • Variations: Amelia, Amy, Emma
  • Popularity: Amiria is an unusual name in the U.S.
Vintage

Ana

Ana is a beautiful name found across several cultures. It’s short and pithy and depicts someone who is serene and can’t be swayed by life’s fickleness and temporary storms.

  • Origin: Spanish, Maori
  • Meaning: Favored, gracious, serene
  • Variations: Anita, Anja, Anka, Annetta, Annette, Annie, Annika
  • Namesakes: Ana de Armas, a Cuban actress known for Knives Out. Ana Gasteyer, an American actress and Saturday Night Live cast member.
  • Popularity: Ana is among the top 300 most popular names for girls in the U.S.
Cute, Traditional

Anahira

This beautiful Maori girl’s name is perfect for anyone who thinks their baby is a lovely angel sent from heaven. A beautiful indigenous name to the Maori people, Anahira would sound wonderful paired with a shorter middle name.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Angel, archangel
  • Popularity: Anahira is an unusual name in the U.S.
Religious

Anewa

Anewa is a great Maori boy name that is unique in its meaning. Although most names celebrate heroic or admirable traits, this one acknowledges that people can fall. The important thing is what they do next and their resilience in overcoming obstacles.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: To fall
  • Popularity: Anewa is not a popular boy’s name in the U.S.
Free-spirited, Adventurous

Apera

Apera describes something so essential to every person on earth that we can’t have life without it – breath. It’s a great Maori boy name to indicate how treasured and important that little guy is to you and what he means to your family.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Breath
  • Pronunciation: a-PE-ra
Cool, Practical

Aperahama

Aperahama is the Maori version of the often-used Abraham, and its meaning is the same. In the Bible, Abraham was promised by God that he would be the father of a mighty nation. This is an excellent name for a religious family that wants to celebrate that God keeps His promises.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Father of a mighty nation
  • Pronunciation: ah-peh-rah-HAH-mah
  • Variations: Abraham
  • Popularity: Aperahama is not a popular name for U.S. boys.
Heroic

Aperira

Aperira is a beautiful name to celebrate new beginnings and the fresh promise of spring. It would be a great Maori girl name for a little one born in spring. It brings with it all the ideas of new flowers, baby animals, and the new life teeming each year at the start of a new season.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: April
  • Pronunciation: AEP-r-rah
  • Variations: April
  • Popularity: Aperira is an unusual name for girls in the U.S.
Sweet, Nature-loving

Aputa

Aputa celebrates wide open spaces and the ability to roam and not be confined. It’s an excellent name for a family that wants to encourage a spirited girl to make the most of life. It also makes sense that native island tribes would value the open spaces surrounding them and the vast sea that was the ultimate open space.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Open spaces
Free-spirited

Aramoana

Ara means “path” and Moana means “sea,” so this name celebrates the sea-loving ways of the Maori people. The sea was essential to the life of those on the island, showing how Ara perfectly celebrates the beauty of the ocean.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Pathway to the ocean
  • Pronunciation: a-ra-MOA-na
  • Popularity: Aramoana is an unusual name for U.S. girls.
Beautiful, Nature-loving
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Aranga

Aranga is a cute girl’s name that celebrates the Easter holiday! This would be a beautiful choice for a family celebrating the Christian holidays. Easter can also be a time of renewal and new life, making Aranga a wonderful way to celebrate your very own little bundle of life.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Easter
Religious, Cute

Arapeta

Arapeta is a Maori and German name with the same meaning. It’s a wonderful choice for a family that values noble character and wants to celebrate admirable men and good leaders.

  • Origin: Maori, German
  • Meaning: A noble and famous man
  • Pronunciation: AA-raa-peh-taa
  • Variations: Albert
  • Popularity: Arapeta is an unusual name in the U.S. and does not appear in the top 1,000 most popular names
Heroic, Cool

Arataki

Arataki is a bold, strong choice for a girl’s name. It brings to mind important leadership qualities such as a solid character and a willingness to stand strong. In Japan, Arataki is the name of a character in a video game, but it isn’t common for little girls- making it a pretty unique choice.

  • Origin: Maori, Japanese
  • Meaning: A leader, rough rapids
  • Pronunciation: aa-raa-TAA-kiy
  • Popularity: Although Arataki is a somewhat common last name in Japan, it’s an uncommon first name.
Strong

Ari

Ari is found in many different languages across the globe. In Maori, it’s most commonly used for boys. This would be a wonderful name with a nod to many different, beautiful cultures.

  • Origin: Maori, Badaga, Finnic, Greek, Hebrew, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Visible and clear, sun-like, best or superior, lion, eagle
  • Pronunciation: AAH-ree
  • Variations: Aris, Harry, Adrian, Aristotle, Ariadne, Ariana, Arietta, Aristea
  • Namesakes: Ari Emanuel, an American talent agent. Ari Fleischer, a former White House Press Secretary. Ari Gold, an American R&B artist.
  • Popularity: Ari is a fairly popular name in the U.S. and is in the top 500 most popular boys’ names.
Trendy, Cool

Arikiwi

Cloaks made of feathers from the kiwi, represented prestige and status and would indicate an important person. A kiwi is also New Zealand’s national bird. Arikiwi would be a lovely nod to Maori culture and heritage for your very own important little girl!

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Cloak made of kiwi feathers
Traditional

Aroha

Aroha is derived from the same root as the Hawaiian word “aloha” and its meaning of “love” makes it a popular name. It was recently in the spotlight after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern selected it as one of her baby’s names.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Love
  • Namesakes: Aroha Awarau, a journalist and playwright from New Zealand. Aroha Reriti-Crofts, the former president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League.
  • Popularity: Aroha is a common name in New Zealand, although it’s not popular in the United States.
Beautiful, Sweet

Arorangi

Arorangi also means “heavenward” and is a beautiful way to point people to what truly matters. It would be a lovely name for a devout family that wants a reminder to point their eyes and hearts to heaven and think of eternal things.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: To heaven
  • Pronunciation: aa-row-RAA-njhiy
Religious

Ataahua

Ataahua is a gorgeous name for parents who want to celebrate how excited they are to welcome their new baby girl! It’s a beautiful (literally!) nod to Maori culture and tradition.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: A beautiful girl
  • Popularity: Ataahua is an uncommon name.
Beautiful

Atama

Atama refers to an expressive person in touch with their emotions. Interestingly, in Japanese, Atama means “head” – both interpretations indicate a person who is a good thinker and can integrate his brain with his feelings.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Soul of a person, expressive and versatile
Heroic, Free-spirited

Atarangi

Atarangi refers to the dawn- a new beginning that happens each morning. It’s a beautiful option among Maori names for a girl that celebrates and honors the land. It’s also great for a family that loves nature and celebrates the natural beginnings and endings that come each day.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Morning sky
Nature-loving, Free-spirited
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Atawhai

Atawhai is a beautiful, strong name for boys or girls, meaning kindness and protection. It reminds us that kind, caring people aren’t pushovers – they stand strong for people who need them. The New Zealand Department of Conservation is called “Te Papa Atawhai” in Māori because it protects the country’s natural resources.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Kind and caring
  • Pronunciation: aa-taa-F-AY
  • Popularity: Atawhai is an uncommon name and is not in the top 1,000 most popular names in the U.S.
Sweet, Strong

Aurora

Aurora refers to the Roman goddess of the dawn who traveled from east to west in her chariot with the rising sun. It’s a popular name across many cultures and is also associated with the heroine in Sleeping Beauty. It’s a beautiful name for a little girl that brings to mind the bright promise of each new day.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Dawn
  • Pronunciation: aw-RAW-ruh
  • Variations: Aurore
  • Namesakes: Aurora Aksnes, a Norwegian singer-songwriter. Aurora Martinez, a director of over 70 Spanish-language action movies. Aurora Mira, a Chilean painter.
  • Popularity: Aurora is among the top 100 most popular names in the U.S.
Classic, Beautiful

Awhina

Awhina is a lovely name used in Polynesian cultures. It’s a beautiful Maori name that could encourage your little one to be a wonderful helper to her parents, family, and community.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Helper, Supporter
  • Pronunciation: ah-FIY-nah
Sweet, Practical

Awhireinga

This beautiful name would be a delightful choice for a family that wants to celebrate Maori culture. Although it’s a somewhat lengthy name, it highlights the thin line between the physical and spirit worlds and honors a baby girl loved by both.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Embraced by the spirit world
  • Pronunciation: ah-fee-RAY-nga
  • Popularity: Awhireinga is an unusual name
Traditional, Mystical

Awi

Awi brings to mind green growing plants and natural things. It’s a beautiful name for a little girl in a family that loves gardening and bringing things forth from the earth.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Ivy
Nature-loving, Free-spirited

Emere

Emere is the Maori version of Emily and can also mean “to emulate.” It’s a gorgeous twist on a classic name and a beautiful choice for a baby girl.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Rival, persuasive
  • Pronunciation: eh-MEH-reh
  • Variations: Emiri, Emily
  • Popularity: Emere is not a popular name in the U.S.
Strong

Epa

Epa is a short, sweet name that also means “to consecrate or honor.” This name symbolizes a girl’s sanctity, dedication, and commitment to her faith by referring to an offering to a god. It’s a beautiful name for a strong little girl!

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: An offering to the god
  • Pronunciation: EH-pae
  • Popularity: Epa is an unusual name
Religious, Strong

Erihapeti

Erihapeti is the Maori form of Elizabeth. It’s also the name of a woman who was a fierce fighter for women’s rights and health between the 1970s and 1990s. She was a member of the Maori Women’s Welfare League and the Human Rights Commission. She’s definitely a role model for any girl who wants to help and support her people and the world around her.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Helper or supporter
  • Variations: Elizabeth
  • Namesakes: Erihapeti Rehu-Murchie, an activist for Maori women’s welfare and health and an actor and singer.
Sweet

Eruera

Eruera is the Maori form of Edward, and several Maori leaders have been named Eruera. A little boy could be proud to follow in the footsteps of the same people who helped preserve Maori culture for future generations.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Rich and happy guardian
  • Variations: Edward
  • Namesakes: Eruera Pare Hongi, a pioneer of Māori literacy and the writer of the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand. Eruera Stirling, an elder and author.
  • Popularity: Eruera is not a popular name in New Zealand, but it’s more popular there than anywhere else.
Traditional, Strong

Etera

Etera is a form of Ezra, and is a short, strong name for a little boy. It may also be an abbreviation of a longer name which means “God helps” and is a great reminder for any person of faith.

  • Origin: Maori, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Aid or help
  • Pronunciation: EH-tih-raa
  • Variations: Ezra
Heroic
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Haeata

Haeata invokes the beauty of an early morning sunrise. It’s such a lovely name that also belongs to a Maori women artists’ collective. This is a gorgeous, artsy name for a family that appreciates the daily beauty found in the natural world.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Dawn
  • Pronunciation: HHAYaa-taa
Nature-loving, Mystical, Beautiful

Haeatatanga

This gorgeous girl’s name invokes the beauty of light. Haeatatanga could symbolize the importance of light in a dark world or the creativity that a spark of light indicates. Light is always a lovely, powerful symbol, making this a fantastic pick for a baby girl.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Light beam
  • Pronunciation: HY-ah-tah-tah-NGA
Beautiful

Hahana

This is a sweet name for a little girl who’s destined to shine! Hahana is perfect for a family that values creativity or simply wants to celebrate the new light in their lives.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Radiance, shine, brilliance
  • Pronunciation: HHAA-hhaanaa
Mystical, Beautiful

Hahona

Hahona is a lovely boy’s name that celebrates the importance of healing and bringing things together. Families can celebrate physical as well as spiritual and emotional healing, and this name invokes all of that.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Healer
  • Pronunciation: HAH-ho-nah
  • Variations: Jason
  • Popularity: Hahona is a rare and unusual name, while its alternative, Jason is pretty popular.
Traditional

Haimona

Haimona honors a virtue that many people have forgotten to appreciate – the value of listening. This is a wonderful name for parents who know the importance of deliberation, listening, and seeing and understanding others.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Listening
  • Variations: Simon
  • Namesakes: Haimona Patete, a Maori leader and religious founder
Sweet

Harata

Harata can be used as either a boy’s or a girl’s name. The fact that it belonged to a Maori chieftainess immortalized in a painting makes it an excellent option for a little girl with the demeanor of a mighty warrior.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Free man
  • Namesakes: Harata Rewiri Tarapata, a Maori Chieftainess who is the subject of a famous painting.
Free-spirited

Hau

Hau means “wind,” but it can also mean the spirit or aura of a person, although there isn’t an exact translation. It’s a way to indicate each person’s uniqueness and show what makes them who they are on the inside.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Wind, air
  • Pronunciation: HOW
Nature-loving

Haumiatiketike

Haumiatiketike is the god of vegetative food, especially of the roots that were a significant food in the Maori diet. This unique name indicates someone in charge of protecting a plant that was very important to the survival and culture of the people, and it would be a great name for a very special little girl!

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: A guardian of the fern-root
  • Variations: Haumia
Nature-loving

Heeni

Heeni is the Maori form of Jane. It’s a wonderful nod to Maori heritage and a beautiful name for a baby girl. It’s also a way to celebrate her birth with a name of faith.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Jehovah has been gracious
  • Variations: Jane
  • Pronunciation: HEE-ni
Religious

Hehu

Hehu is a strong option among traditional Maori names. It’s also a way to honor faith and place this baby boy in the hands of God. His parents can rest knowing that God rescues and will protect their precious baby.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: God rescues
  • Pronunciation: HEH-HH-uw
Religious, Strong
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Heketoro

According to Maori folklore, Heketoro are fair-skinned fairy folk living in the mountains’ bush. This would be a fun, fanciful name for a boy whose parents love myths and legends and want to celebrate Maori tales.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Fairy spirit
  • Popularity: Heketoro is an unusual name.
Mystical

Hine

Hine is the Maori word for “girl” or “daughter.” It would be a great name for a family excited to welcome a baby girl into the world.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Girl, daughter
  • Pronunciation: HIN-eh
  • Popularity: Hine is a common Maori name but is not popular in the U.S.
Strong

Hinewai

Hinewai is the name of the Rain Maid. In Maori culture, she is the personification of the misty rain that hangs over an area during foggy weather. This would be a beautiful Maori name for an elegant little girl.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Water maiden
  • Pronunciation: HIY-neh-way
Mystical

Hoana

Hoana refers to God’s gracious gift, so it’s a lovely way to celebrate a new baby girl. It’s short, sweet, and a lovely nod to Maori culture. It also belonged to one of the few women who signed the document upon which New Zealand was founded, so it’s associated with an excellent role model!

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: God is gracious and merciful
  • Variations: Joanna, Joan
  • Namesakes: Hoana Riutoto, one of the only Maori women to sign the Treaty of Waitangi – New Zealand’s founding document.
Religious

Hokaka

Hokaka means “to desire, wish, or want” in Maori. It could perfectly indicate a girl that many people will love and adore.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: A desirable woman
Traditional

Horowai

Horowai calls to mind the beautiful Maori, Samoan, and other Pacific Island waterfalls and the beautiful landscape of the islands. It’s a delightful option for a nature-loving family who wants to celebrate the beauty of the earth.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Waterfall
  • Pronunciation: howrow-WAY
  • Popularity: Horowai is an unusual name
Nature-loving

Huatare

Huatare belongs to a famous Maori chief. It’s a strong, heroic name for a little boy and a great way to appreciate Maori culture.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: A famous chief
Heroic

Huihana

Huihana is a beautiful, delicate name for a sweet baby girl. It’s also a great choice in a family that loves flowers and nature. Lilies and lotus flowers give off sweet smells and are all-around lovely flowers, just like a lovely new baby!

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Lily, Lotus
  • Popularity: Huihana is an unusual name
Beautiful, Nature-loving

Hunapo

Hunapo is a beautiful, mysterious name for a baby boy or girl. The name speaks to the mystical and can indicate a person who isn’t easily known by others but has a hidden inner core.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Hidden darkness
  • Popularity: Hunapo is not a popular name
Mystical

Hunu

Hunu is a beautiful baby name that invokes the cheerfulness and joy of the sun. It’s a great choice for a family looking for an optimistic name or that loves nature and being outdoors.

  • Origin: Maori, African
  • Meaning: Sunray, Sun
  • Pronunciation: h-UWN-uw
Nature-loving
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Iehohapata

Iehohapata is found several times in the Maori Bible because it’s the Maori version of Josaphat. It means “The Lord judges” and is a beautiful name for a devout family.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: The Lord judges
  • Pronunciation: ieh-HO-ha-pah-tah
  • Variations: Josaphat
Religious

Ihaia

Ihaia is a spiritual name, perfect for a family whose faith is important to them. It’s the Maori version of Isaiah, a prophet with a close relationship with God.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: God is salvation
  • Pronunciation: iy-HAY-aa
  • Variations: Isaiah
Religious

Ihaka

Ihaka is the Maori version of Isaac, which means “one who laughs,” or “one who rejoices.” It was the name Sarah gave her son in the Old Testament when she discovered she was pregnant after years of being unable to have a child. It speaks of optimism and happiness, perfect for a bouncing baby boy!

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: He will laugh
  • Variations: Isaac
  • Popularity: Although Isaac is a popular name, Ihaka is an unusual, very rare name.
Free-spirited, Sweet

Ihu

Ihu is the Maori version of Jesus, so it’s perfect for a devout family. The daily reminder that “God rescues” is uplifting and encouraging, which could be perfect for a little boy.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: God rescues
  • Pronunciation: IY-huw
  • Variations: Jesus
Religious

Ikaroa

Ikaroa, which describes a certain part of a fish, is a lovely way to celebrate the Maori island culture. Maori have traditionally been very accomplished fishermen, using nets, hooks, and a variety of ways to catch their fish.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: The longest part of a fish
Nature-loving, Traditional

Inia

Inia, the Maori form of India, refers to a body of water. It’s a wonderful choice for a nature-loving family. It’s also a beautiful pick among Maori names that celebrate the water surrounding the island.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: A body of water
  • Variations: India
  • Namesakes: Inia Te Wiata, a New Zealand opera singer and actor in the 1950s.
Nature-loving

Iorama

Iorama is a beautiful name of praise for a baby boy. This would be a good choice for a religious family or a family that wants to praise and celebrate the birth of their baby.

  • Origin: Maori, Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is exalted
  • Variations: Joram
Religious

Iraia

Israel was a biblical figure, initially known as Jacob until he wrestled with an unknown stranger, believed to be an angel of God. After wrestling with the divine being, Jacob was blessed by God, making this a good reminder of God’s blessings.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: The God wrestler
  • Variations: Israel
Religious

Irirangi

Irirangi refers to an eerie note or sound that can make people restless or on edge. It’s a mysterious-sounding name that reminds one of mystical spirits.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: The spirit voice
  • Pronunciation: iy-riy-RAA-njhiy
Religious, Mystical

Kaheru

Kaheru refers to a digging instrument or spade, traditionally used by the Maori to cultivate and garden. This name is a celebration of Maori culture and their ingenious creations to help them survive.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Digging instrument
  • Popularity: Kaheru is a very rare name.
Traditional
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Kahikatea

Kahikatea is a type of pine tree found in New Zealand. It’s a beautiful way to celebrate the wildlife and natural surroundings of the Maori people.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Pine tree
  • Pronunciation: Kaa-hiy-kaa-TIY-aa
Nature-loving

Kahu

Kahu is the Maori word for a harrier hawk – a large, brown hawk with long-fingered wings, known for loving farmlands and swamps. It’s a lovely girls name to honor the wildlife native to New Zealand.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Harrier hawk
  • Pronunciation: KA-hu
Nature-loving

Kahuiwi

Kahuiwi is the name of a traditional piece of Maori garb, making it an excellent way to honor Maori culture. It’s also a beautiful name for a baby girl.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Cloak particular to a certain New Zealand tribe
Traditional

Kahukura

Kahukura is a god of the rainbow. It’s a lovely, traditional Maori name. It’s also a celebration of weather and nature and the optimism that comes with a rainbow after a storm.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Rainbow
Nature-loving

Kahurangi

Kahurangi is the perfect way to capture how precious you see your new boy! The “blue” also invokes the sea color surrounding New Zealand. It’s also the name of a New Zealand national park, so it’s a great choice for a family that loves the outdoors.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Precious, a treasured possession, jewel, blue
Sweet

Kai

In Hawaiian, Kai means “the sea,” so it’s an important word for an island nation. It also makes a great name for a baby boy whose parents love nature and honoring the Maori culture.

  • Origin: Hawaiian, Scottish, Welsh
  • Meaning: The sea, fire, keeper of the keys
  • Namesakes: Kai Alexander, a British actor known for Masters of the Air and Catastrophe. Kai Langerfeld, a Canadian Olympic rower.
  • Popularity: Kai is listed in the top 100 most popular boy names in the U.S.
Trendy

Kaia

Kaia is a beautiful girl name that celebrates the sea. It’s a lovely name for parents who value nature and want to celebrate the ocean’s importance in Maori life.

  • Origin: Hawaiian, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: The sea
  • Pronunciation: KY-ah
  • Namesakes: Kaia Gerber, an American model, and daughter of Cindy Crawford.
  • Popularity: Kaia is a popular name in the U.S. and has been increasing over the past several years.
Trendy, Nature-loving

Kaimani

Kaimani celebrates a baby as a gift from above. It would be a good choice for a family that is devout and makes a point of celebrating God’s blessings.

  • Origin: Hawaiian
  • Meaning: Gift from God
Religious

Kara

Kara is the name for volcanic rock in the Maori language. It’s a sweet name for a family eagerly anticipating welcoming their baby girl as a beloved new member.

  • Origin: Italian, Maori
  • Meaning: Beloved, a dark volcanic rock
  • Variations: Carroll
  • Namesakes: Kara Hayward, an American actress. Kara Swisher, an American journalist.
  • Popularity: Kara is a popular name in the U.S. and is one of the 1,000 most popular girl names.
Trendy

Katarine

Katarine is a pretty name that celebrates purity and innocence. It’s a sweet and an excellent choice for parents who value keeping their daughter’s heart pure.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: The one who is pure
  • Variations: Katherine
Beautiful
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Kiritopa

Kiritopa is the Maori form of Christopher. It’s a great Maori name and an interesting variation on the more commonly seen Western name. It’s also a lovely name for a devout family.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Bearer of Christ
  • Variations: Christopher
Religious

Koraka

Koraka is a strong name for a boy whose family appreciates leadership and heroic qualities. Its powerful meaning gives him a lot to look up to and strive for as he grows and matures.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: South Island chief
Heroic, Strong

Mahuika

Mahuika is the Maori goddess of fire who provided life, warmth, and safety to the Maori people. It’s a great name for a family that values a strong woman who uses her power to help those she leads.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Goddess of fire
  • Pronunciation: mahui-ka
Religious, Strong

Maia

Maia is a sweet name for a baby girl and indicates someone who’s capable of great love. A mother’s unconditional love is unique and rare, and to honor it in a little girl could be a beautiful gesture.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Mother, one who has unconditional love
  • Popularity: Maia is not a common name.
Sweet

Manaaki

Manaaki’s meaning of cherishing and sustaining indicates a strong leader who knows how to build up others and sustain them with encouragement. A man who cherishes those around him is a hero who knows how to appreciate what really matters, making Manaaki an inspiring name for a baby boy.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: To cherish, conserve, and sustain
  • Popularity: Manaaki is an unusual name in the U.S.
Strong, Heroic

Manawa

Manawa refers to the heart or spirit of a person – what defines them deep inside. It’s a lovely name that looks past the surface to focus on the most important part of a person.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Heart
Traditional

Marama

Marama is a beautiful name that indicates the loveliness and mystery of the moon. According to Cook Island mythology, it’s the name of the male lunar god who married the goddess of light.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: She is like the moon
Mystical

Mere

Mere is a Maori version of Mary. It would be a good, traditional option for a baby girl and is reminiscent of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Bitter
  • Pronunciation: MIHR
  • Variations: Mary
Traditional

Mikaere

Mikaere is the Maori form of Michael. It’s a biblical name belonging to an archangel, so it’s a good option for a religious family. It would also be a wonderful way to honor Maori culture with a twist on a Western name.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Who is like God
  • Variations: Michael
Traditional, Religious

Nikau

Nikau is a palm tree found in New Zealand. This makes it an excellent choice for a family that reveres nature and wants to celebrate the unique vegetation of New Zealand.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Palm tree
Nature-loving
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Pania

Pania is a shimmering, iridescent sea maiden in Maori mythology. According to legend, she’s the protector of the reef. Pania reminds everyone of the interconnectedness of the Maori people with the sea and the importance of protecting the environment around them.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: A beautiful sea maiden
Mystical

Pounamu

Pounamu describes various types of hard, durable stones found in New Zealand. The stone was used to make carvings important to Maori culture, and the stone is highly treasured, making this a great Maori name to celebrate the culture.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Girl
Traditional

Rangi

Rangi, or Ranginui, is the god from the original Maori creation myth. He’s the sky father who marries the earth mother, involved in a moving love story.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: God of the sky
  • Variations: Ranginui, Raki, Rakinui
Heroic

Rapata

Rapata is a good name for a family convinced their son was born to do great things! While “bright fame” could refer to actors or entertainers, it could also indicate someone who will do important work in politics, science, or other fields.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Bright fame
  • Variations: Ropata
  • Popularity: Rapata is an uncommon name.
Inspiring

Rongo

Rongo is the god of cultivated plants, including the most important crops to the Maori. It’s a good name for people who value gardening and planting and love seeing things grow from the earth.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Peace-loving people
Sweet, Nature-loving

Ropata

Ropata is a variation of Rapata and means “bright fame.” It belonged to a great military leader and is a good fit for a family who believes he will make a mark on the world.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Bright fame
  • Namesakes: Ropata Wahawaha, a Māori military leader and chief who rose to prominence during the East Cape War.
  • Variations: Rapata
Heroic, Inspiring

Rui

Rui is a lovely name for your little princess! It also means “to sow seeds”- a beautiful celebration of life and sustenance.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Regal, To sow
Inspiring

Ruru

Ruru is the Maori word for a morepork – an owl native to New Zealand. It’s an adorable small brown owl and a perfect baby name for a family that loves wildlife.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Owl
Nature-loving

Tai

Tai is a short but important word that denotes the sea, coast, or tide. Something as central to the Maori culture as the ocean means this is a stunning choice for anyone wanting to celebrate the Maori people.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: The sea or coast
Nature-loving

Taika

Although Taika isn’t a common name, more people are aware of the name after the success of New Zealand director Taika Waititi. When he won Best Screenplay, he dedicated his Oscar to the indigenous children of the world and reminded them they are the original storytellers.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Tiger
  • Pronunciation: TIE-ka
  • Namesakes: Taika Waititi, an Oscar-winning filmmaker, actor, and comedian.
  • Popularity: Taika is not a popular name in the United States.
Heroic
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Tama

Tama is a name that indicates a male relative – either a son or nephew. It would be a fun, short name celebrating a baby boy who has long been waited for and hoped for.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Son, Nephew
Traditional

Tamati

Tamati is the Maori version of Thomas. It’s a biblical name that comes from one of the twelve apostles. It would also be a fun choice for a twin boy.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Twin
  • Variations: Thomas
  • Namesakes: Tamati Waka Nene, a Maori Chief who fought as a British ally in the First Maori War.
Traditional, Religious

Tangaroa

Tangaroa is the god of the sea, lakes, and rivers, and all the creatures who live there. He is also the god of fire in the Cook Islands. He’s a mighty god and the father of many sea creatures, which are important to the survival of the Maori.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: God of the sea, God of fire
Heroic

Tipene

Tipene is the Maori version of Stephen. It’s a biblical name and belonged to the first martyr in the church. It’s a good, devout Maori name for a baby boy.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Crown, Reward
  • Variations: Stephen
Heroic

Whina

Whina indicates a sweet girl willing to help those she can. It doesn’t indicate a weak personality, but rather someone who uses her many talents, and even her strength of will, to help people in need.

  • Origin: Maori
  • Meaning: Helpful and kind
Sweet
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Headshot of Laura Falin

About the Author

Laura Falin

Laura Falin is a freelance writer from Colorado. She worked in TV news for more than ten years, and since then has written for publications and websites including BabyCenter, Colorado Parent Magazine, and Denver Parent. She loves being outdoors and reading.
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