It took three years, but Dame Tariana Turia has officially been honoured in an investiture ceremony at Pūtiki Wharanui Marae in Whanganui.

Dame Tariana was named in the 2015 New Year’s honours, but the honour of Dame Companion had not been officially conferred – until now.

“I wanted right from the get-go to have it here. It wasn't able to be done with the previous Governor-General, but when Dame Patsy Reddy offered for me to have it back here at home, I was really thrilled."

She requested the ceremony take place on her marae to involve the people she credits with her success.

"Coming to the marae here today was definitely the wise choice so that the people could participate, because in the end, it's as much about them as it is about me."

Former Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, who was one of the many who attended the ceremony, says the honour is well deserved.

“Ko ia tēnei e whakanuia ana engari ko te ao Māori tēnei, me kī, me mihi ki a ia i tū ki te mura o te ahi i ngā tau kua hipa ake, i tohe te tohe mo tāua te painga.”  

But the humble dame continues to pay homage to those who supported her.

“These are the people that have raised me, they're the one that mattered to me and I would not have been able to do anything in my life without them.”