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Hurricanes assistant playfully dodges Hamilton-Kirikiriroa question

Hurricanes assistant coach Chris Gibbes was more than happy to not weigh in on the debate around the future of the name of Hamilton.

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Chris Gibbes shouldered arms to a tricky question to end his press conference. Source: 1 NEWS

Named after British naval captain John Hamilton, the Waikato city has been at the centre of debate over the past month. His statue, described by critics as a reminder of the impact of colonialism, has been removed.

Instead, the traditional Māori name of Kirikiriroa has gained support as a replacement should Hamilton's name be changed.

Speaking to media ahead of his side's Super Rugby Aotearoa match against the Chiefs this weekend, though, Gibbes - a proud representative of Waikato rugby - stayed away from wading into the debate.

"Kirikiriroa, isn't it?" Gibbes joked. "That's what I know it as."