Hamilton, New Zealand


Kirikiriroa  (Māori)
Hamilton from Till's Lookout, from Whitiora to Fairfield Bridge, traffic on SH1, Māori Garden, Hamilton Station, city offices and WINTEC
Hamilton from Till's Lookout, from Whitiora to Fairfield Bridge, traffic on SH1, Māori Garden, Hamilton Station, city offices and WINTEC
Hamiltron, the Tron,[1] H-Town.[1] Previously: the Fountain City.[2]
Location of the Hamilton Territorial Authority
Location of the Hamilton Territorial Authority
Hamilton is located in New Zealand
Location of Hamilton, New Zealand
Coordinates: 37°47′S 175°17′E / 37°47′S 175°17′E / -37.783; 175.283UTC+13 (NZDT)
3200, 3204, 3206, 3210, 3214, 3216
Area code(s)07
Local iwiwww.waikatoregion.govt.nz

Hamilton (Māori: Kirikiriroa) is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. It is the seat and most populous city of the Waikato region, with a territorial population of 169,300,[3] the country's fourth most-populous city. Encompassing a land area of about 110 km2 (42 sq mi)[4] on the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton is part of the wider Hamilton Urban Area, which also encompasses the nearby towns of Ngaruawahia, Te Awamutu and Cambridge.

The area now covered by the city was originally the site of several Māori villages, including Kirikiriroa, from which the city takes its Māori name. By the time English settlers arrived, most of these villages, which sat beside the Waikato River, were abandoned as a result of the Invasion of Waikato, Waikato Wars and the unjust land confiscation (Raupatu) by the Crown under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863. The new English settlement was renamed Hamilton after Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton, the commander of HMS Esk, who was killed in the Battle of Gate Pā, Tauranga.[5]

Initially an agricultural service centre, Hamilton now has a diverse economy and is the third fastest growing urban area in New Zealand, behind Pukekohe and Auckland.[6] Hamilton Gardens is the region's most popular tourist attraction. Education and research and development play an important part in Hamilton's economy, as the city is home to approximately 40,000 tertiary students and 1,000 PhD-qualified scientists.[7]


Historical population
New Zealand census

The area now covered by the city was originally the site of several Māori villages (kāinga), including Pukete, Miropiko and Kirikiriroa ("long stretch of gravel'), from which the city takes its Māori name. Local Māori were the target of raids by Ngāpuhi during the Musket Wars,[22] and several sites from this period can still be found beside the Waikato River. In December 2011 several rua or food storage pits were found near the Waikato River bank, close to the Waikato museum.

In 1822, Kirikiriroa Pa was briefly abandoned to escape the Musket Wars. However, by the 1830s Ngati Wairere’s principal pa was Kirikiriroa,[23] where the missionaries, who arrived at that time,[24] estimated 200 people lived permanently.[23] A chapel and house were built at Kirikiriroa for visiting clergy,[25] presumably after Benjamin Ashwell established his mission near Taupiri.

Between 1845 and 1855 crops such as wheat, fruit and potatoes were exported to Auckland, with up to 50 canoes serving Kirikiriroa. Imports included blankets, clothing, axes, sugar, rum, and tobacco.[25] Millstones were acquired and a water wheel constructed, though possibly the flour mill wasn't completed.[23] However, one article said Kirikiriroa flour was well known.[26]

Magistrate Gorst, estimated that Kirikiriroa had a population of about 78 before the Invasion of Waikato via the Waikato Wars of 1863–64. The government estimated the Waikato area had a Maori population of 3,400 at the same time. After the war in the Waikato, large areas of land (1.2 Million Acres), including the area of the present city of Hamilton were unjustly confiscated by the Crown under the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863. [27]. By the time British settlers arrived after 1863, most of these villages had been abandoned as a result of the land confiscation also known as Raupatu. After the invasion of the Waikato and confiscation of the invaded land, militia-settlers were recruited in Melbourne and Sydney. Hamilton was settled by the 4th regiment of the Waikato Militia.[28] The 1st Regiment was at Tauranga, the 2nd at Pirongia, the 3rd at Cambridge and the 4th at Kirikiriroa.[24][29] The settlement was founded on 24 August 1864 and named by Colonel William Moule after Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton,[30] the commander of HMS Esk, who never even stepped foot in Kirikiriroa and was killed in the battle of Gate Pā, Tauranga. On 10 March 2013 a statue of Captain Hamilton was given to the city by the Gallagher Group;[31] there seems to have been no protest about it until 2018.[32] Many of the soldier/settlers who intended to farm after the 1863 war, walked off their land in 1868 disgusted at the poor quality of the land. Much of the land was swampy or under water. In 1868 Hamilton's population, which was about 1,000 in 1864, dropped to 300 as farmers left.[33]

Victoria Bridge in 1910

The road from Auckland reached Hamilton in 1867 and the railway in December 1877. That same month, the towns of Hamilton West and Hamilton East merged under a single borough council.[34] The first traffic bridge between Hamilton West and Hamilton East, known as the Union Bridge, opened in 1879. It was replaced by the Victoria Bridge in 1910.

The first railway bridge, the Claudelands Bridge, was opened in 1884. It was converted to a road traffic bridge in 1965.[35] Hamilton reached 1,000 people in 1900, and the town of Frankton merged with the Hamilton Borough in 1917.[29] Between 1912 and 1936, Hamilton expanded with new land in Claudelands (1912), Maeroa (1925), and Richmond – modern day Waikato Hospital and northern Melville (1936).[36] Hamilton was proclaimed a city in 1945.[24]

Hood Street in 1962

The city is near the southernmost navigable reach (by the settlers' steam boats) of the Waikato River, amidst New Zealand's richest and now fertile agricultural land that was once largely Raupo and Kahikatea swamp.[37] Beale Cottage is an 1872 listed building in Hamilton East.

From 1985 MV Waipa Delta[38] provided excursions along the river through the town centre. In 2009 Waipa Delta[39] was moved to provide trips on Waitematā Harbour in Auckland,[40] but replaced by a smaller boat. That too ceased operation and the pontoon at Parana Park was removed in 2013.[41] The Delta moved to Taupo in 2012.[42] The former Golden Bay vessel,[43] Cynthia Dew, has run 4 days a week[44] on the river since 2012.[45]

Other Languages
Esperanto: Hamilton
Gaeilge: Hamilton
Bahasa Indonesia: Hamilton, Selandia Baru
മലയാളം: ഹാമിൽടൺ
Māori: Kirikiriroa
Bahasa Melayu: Hamilton, New Zealand
Simple English: Hamilton, New Zealand
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Hamilton, Novi Zeland
Tiếng Việt: Hamilton, New Zealand