A triumphant Valerie Adams says she has finally received justice after receiving her gold medal in front of hundreds of people.
Forty four days after the London Olympics and 18,000 kilometres from London, an emotional Adams was awarded her medal by Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at the Cloud on Auckland's waterfront
Members of the New Zealand Olympic team surrounded the 27-year-old as she thanked New Zealanders for their support.
"It's absolutely amazing, I'm so happy, so ecstatic. I've been waiting for this for the last however many weeks, now it's finally here, I've got it!" she said.
The Olympic champion said it was "absolutely" worth the wait to receive her medal after Belarusian shot-putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk was stripped of her medal after testing positive for drug use.
She said "justice had now been served" after what she described as a "tough" few weeks.
A three-times world champion and defending champion in London, Adams had hoped to pick up the medal in Europe while she was competing in Diamond League events.
Belarussian Ostapchuk, however, only gave up the medal last week and Adams had to wait until after she arrived back home on Wednesday.
Olympic gold medallists, including Mahe Drysdale, joined members of the public and Olympic officials to support Adams at her crowning moment.
Drysdale said the moment was as close as you could get to an Olympic medal ceremony.
"It must have been very special. I'm sure she would have preferred to have gotten it at the time but this is definitely as close as you can get for making up for it," said Drysdale
"I almost wanted my medal presented again after looking at that display. It was great and wonderful to be a part of it."
The ceremony ended with a seven minute fireworks display over the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, while a similar display also lit up the sky in Wellington.
Earlier, gold-medal winner Eric Murray said he hoped tonight's ceremony would be a memorable moment for Adams after she "missed her moment" at the London Olympics.
"Coming from the athletes that was the biggest thing, she missed her moment, she missed the gold medal going around her neck in a stadium with 80,000 people hearing the national anthem...something that can never be relived and I hope tonight we can make it just as special for her."
The New Zealand flag was raised on the Auckland Harbour Bridge as the official ceremony flag was raised inside the Cloud.
- with Reuters