These are the most popular Maori baby names this year

Maia was the most popular Māori name for girls born both in New Zealand and overseas in 2016.

Among boys, the number one pick was split, with Nikau topping the domestic list while Kai was first choice outside the country, according to the Internal Affairs Department.

Māori Language Commission chief Ngahiwi Apanui says more and more children are receiving Māori names as awareness and value for te reo Māori grow.

"For some it may be about carrying on whanau and ancestral names and for others it may be about connecting a child with the land of its birth, Aotearoa," he said.

"This is a positive thing and we look forward to the time when Māori names for all New Zealanders becomes commonplace."

Top five Māori baby names in 2016

Girls: 

In NZ - Maia, Ariana, Manaia, Anahera, Hana;

Overseas - Maia, Ariana, Hei, Manaia, Aroha.

Boys:

In NZ - Nikau, Ari, Karui, Manaia, Te Ariki;

Overseas - Kai, Manaia, Ari, Nikau, Tamati.

Newshub.