A New Zealand city on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing from British comedian John Cleese has hit back by re-naming its rubbish dump after him.

About a year ago, Cleese delivered a backhander to the North Island city of Palmerston North that his best-known character, Basil Fawlty, would have been proud of.

"If you ever do want to kill yourself but lack the courage, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick," he said.

The British comedian took his one-man show to the city and found the whole experience unforgettable.

"We had a thoroughly bloody miserable time there and we were so happy to get out," he said.

But now the Palmy Army is firing back, at the suggestion of one of its home-grown funnymen, John Clarke, from ABC TV's 7:30 Report.

Locals have renamed Awapuni tip 'Mt Cleese' and thanks to an enterprising local councillor the name has stuck, on a sign next to the compost heap.