The two time Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams heads the list of sports people recognised in the New Year's Honours
Adams will become Dame Valerie, having been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
"It's awesome to be one of the three, I think, who's getting the damehood in the New Year's Honours list. It's amazing - not only to be a woman, but also to be a Pacific Island woman, which is just incredible. So hopefully I'm able to inspire more females in this way," she told RNZ News.
Adams is a four time world champion and was on course to win an historic third straight Olympic gold in Rio when she was pipped by American by Michelle Carter, who threw a personal best with her last throw of the competition.
She is one of only nine athletes, including Usain Bolt, Yelena Isinbayeva, and Jana Pittman, to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event.
She is also the first woman to win four consecutive individual titles at the world track and field champs.
Adams was made an Officer of the New Zealand order of Merit in 2009.
The former chief executive of the World Anti Doping Agency David Howman becomes a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport while Mike Stanley, president of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, also becomes CNZM.
Athletes recognised in the New Year's Honours include triathlete Cameron Brown, who becomes an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, hockey players Phil Burrows and Katie Glynn, paralympians Liam Malone, Anna Grimaldi, Katie Horan, Nikita Howarth, and table tennis player Chunli Li all become Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
The year couldn't have been much more successful for sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and it's been capped off with a New Year's honour.
Burling and Tuke and defended their 49er world championship title and then went onto win a gold medal at the Rio Olympics where they were also New Zealand team co-captains
"It's been a hell of a year, starting off with winning the world champs and then a pretty intense buildup to the Olympic Games...to be captain of the Olympic team and flagbearer carrying the New Zealand flag into the biggest sporting event in the world is something I will always remember," said Burling.
The Cambridge swimmer Nikita Howarth says she's been overwhelmed by the support she got following her Rio Paralympic success.
The 18 year old Howarth is one of five members of the New Zealand Paralympic team in Rio to have been honoured.
Howarth, who won gold and bronze in Rio, says she's really enjoyed the Paralympics have a go programme.
"So it was really cool to see all the people hovering around me and wanting to see my medals and it was really nice that all the people wanted photos, that's cool, it's what it's all about and the what you've done and the community."
Grandmaster Murray Chandler is recognised with an MNZM for services to chess while wood chopper Jason Wynyard, who was crowned the world's best individual wood chopper for the eighth time in 2016, also receives an MNZM.