Hamilton's mayor wants to change the name of the city's council back to its Maori name, Kirikiriroa.

A poll carried out by the Herald so far has the majority of the 6,100 voters wanting the status quo, at 60 per cent, while The Tron was the second most popular name at 26 per cent and Kirikiriroa third on 14 per cent.

It's unclear how much a name change for the city would cost and whether it can afford it. The council is currently proposing a 9.5 per cent rate rise for 2018, backed up by a second 9.5 per cent rate rise in 2019.

During the 10-year plan meetings at the end of 2017, the city council voted to increase rates by 9.5 per cent a year for two years to ensure the city was not running off debt.

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Hamilton was named after an English ship captain, John Charles Fane Hamilton, who was killed during the Battle of Gate Pa in Tauranga in 1864.

Kirikiriroa means "long stretch of gravel" in Maori. It's in reference to an area on the west bank of the Waikato River.

The Hamilton mayor wants to spend ratepayers' money deliberating a name change for the city council. Photo / Christine Cornege
The Hamilton mayor wants to spend ratepayers' money deliberating a name change for the city council. Photo / Christine Cornege

The city has a history up to 800 years of Maori occupation and settlement.

According to the council's website, formal European settlement occurred on August 4 1864, when Captain William Steele disembarked from the gunboat Rangiriri and set up the first redoubt near what is now known as Memorial Park.

The main street of Hamilton was originally planned in Hamilton East with the village square setting of Steele Park and the planting of "English" trees along Grey St and other streets in the suburb.

The Borough of Hamilton was established in 1877 and in December 1945, Hamilton became a city with 20,000 citizens.

Statistics NZ put the city's population, as at 2015, at 156,800 people.