Maori Names

I live in New Zealand. Here Maori names are becoming more and more popular. For example Tui and Huia for girls, or [name]Matai[/name], Manawa or Himiona for a boy. What do you think?

I think it’s cool. [name]Matai[/name] in particular is fantastic, and I like Paikea, too. I don’t know too much about Maori names- before your post virtually all the Maori names I knew came from watching Whale [name]Rider[/name]- but I’d love to know more.

Well they seem to mostly be related to nature. [name]Matai[/name] is a tree name. Tui and Huia are birds. Here are some more: Manaia, Anahera, Atawhai, [name]Kiri[/name], Aroha (love) and Wirimu and [name]Manu[/name] for a boy. [name]Both[/name] Manaia and Anahera are in our top 100 names and lots of little Pakeha (European) children have these names too. Isn’t that bicultural!

That’s very cool. Where is your top 100 list? I’d love to see it but I have trouble finding lists outside of the US/UK/Australia.

Those names seem really cool, but I’m sort of at a loss on how to pronounce them. Could you possibly explain the pronunciation for the few you listed? Thanks!

  • [name]Sydnee[/name]

Vowels are pronounced as follows:
Vowel Short [name]Long[/name]
a as in about far
e as in enter bed
i as in eat sheep
o as in awful pork
u as in put boot

M?ori language doesn”t have consonant clusters (consonants that appear together in a syllable without a vowel between them).

Consonants are mainly pronounced as they are in English. The exceptions are:

Varies depending on which vowel appears after it. When succeeded by an ”a”, ”e” or ”o”, it”s pronounced with little or no ‘s’ sound.

When followed by an ”i” or ”u”, it includes a slight ‘s’ sound, however not nearly as much as an English ”t”.

Commonly called a ”rolled” r. If you”re able to imitate the purring sound of a cat, you”ll know exactly what”s required to pronounce this consonant. Failing this, the sound you should aim for is something similar to an English ”d” ” but softer e.g. judder.

The ”ng” digraph (the combined sound of two consonants) is said as it sounds in the English word ”singer’. A common mistake is to pronounce it as it appears in the word ”finger”.

The ”wh” digraph is usually pronounced as an English ” f” sound.

So Tui is Two-e, Huia is Who-e-a etc

hi these are NZ’s top ten names.

[name]Link[/name] for top 100 here:

Thank you so much!!! I absolutely love Huia (now that I know the correction pronunciation!) Thanks for posting about this - names from other cultures (I live in the US) are always so fascinating. :slight_smile:

  • [name]Sydnee[/name]