Revealed: Which surname rules the South Island?

The most popular surname in the South Island has been revealed. Photo: Getty Images
The most popular surname in the South Island has been revealed. Photo: Getty Images
Smith has taken out the top spot for the most common last name in the South Island.

It is the most common in the Canterbury, Otago and West Coast regions according to data from the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for 2019.

It is also first equal in Nelson alongside Marshall, Taylor, Stewart and Thompson.

Comparatively, Singh is the most common last name in Auckland and Patel in Wellington.

The most common surname registered across the country was Singh, followed by Smith, Kaur, Patel and Williams.

Executive director of the Office of Ethnic Communities, Anusha Guler, said the list is yet another indication of Aotearoa New Zealand's thriving diversity.

"This is good news, as diversity in our communities helps make New Zealand a more culturally rich, innovative and connected place."

Registrar-general Jeff Montgomery said the emergence of names such as Singh, Kaur and Patel reflected both immigration and religious affiliation trends.

"Most new citizens come from the United Kingdom and India, with a significant number from Sikh backgrounds where Singh is the chosen family name for boys and Kaur for girls."

Most common surname by region:

  • Northland - Smith
  • Auckland - Singh
  • Bay of Plenty - Singh
  • Waikato - Smith
  • Gisborne - Allen, Brown, Kemp, Williams
  • Taranaki - Smith
  • Hawke's Bay - Singh
  • Manawatu-Whanganui - Anderson
  • Wellington - Patel
  • Nelson - Marshall, Taylor, Smith, Stewart, Thompson
  • West Coast - Smith
  • Canterbury - Smith
  • Otago - Smith
  • Southland - Wilson








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