Yvette Corlett, New Zealand's first female Olympic gold medallist, honoured with posthumous damehood

New Zealand’s first female Olympic gold medallist has officially been honoured at her investiture in Auckland today.

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Dame Yvette was represented by her daughter Karen, who was wearing her mother's Olympic blazer, at a ceremony. Source: 1 NEWS

Dame Yvette Corlett was posthumously awarded a damehood, a month-and-a-half after her death in April 2019, aged 89.

She won a gold medal for long jump at the 1952 Helsinki games.

Her daughter Karen Corlett received the insignia from Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy on Dame Yvette’s behalf.

"[It was] a little nerve-wracking, to be honest," she told 1 NEWS.

"I just felt how sad it was that, in a bitter-sweet moment, that Mum wasn’t present of course to receive it."

Mrs Corlett wore her mother’s black 1952 Olympics blazer at the ceremony at Government House.

"It’s lovely to have Mum close at heart on a day like today, I’m wearing her rings as well.

"It’s the best we can do, to at least acknowledge her successes over all the years.”

She was notified of her damehood just before her death on April 13.

Her brother Roy Williams had long campaigned for the honour.

“She would obviously have been very, very honoured to have received it in person,” he said.

“Very, very proud, because she was a marvellous lady and a great sister to me.”