New Zealand Culture

Naming

  • New Zealand naming conventions arrange names with the given name(s) before the family names: [first name] [middle name] [last name] (e.g. Travis Sam WILSON).
  • Naming is patrilineal, whereby children adopt their father’s surname.
  • Many women also adopt their husband’s surname at marriage, however this practice is becoming less of a traditional requirement.
  • It is common for a person’s middle name to be the person name of a close relative.
  • Many names have a British origin, while others may be drawn from the Māori language (e.g. Nikau, Tiare, Ariki). 
  • As of 2019, Amelia, Charlotte and Oliver were the most popular English names. Nikau and Mia (female) as well as Mikaere and Aria (male) were the most popular Maori names.1


1 New Zealand Government, 2019

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