Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is one of five New Zealand artists who've been honoured for their achievements.
The Arts Foundation's Icon Awards also acknowledge architect Ian Athfield, painter and writer Jacqueline Fahey, film maker Geoff Murphy and visual artist, heritage advocate and teacher Cliff Whiting.
They received their honours at Government House in Wellington.
The Icon Awards are limited to a living circle of 20 New Zealand artists and are the Arts Foundation's highest honour.
Previous recipients include Janet Frame, Ralph Hotere, Sir Peter Jackson and Margaret Mahy.
There are now eighteen living Icon Award recipients, with the next ceremony planned for 2015.