Excellence shown in different arenas.

New Zealanders made their mark overseas last year, most publicly in the entertainment world and the sporting arena.

But the international business and science worlds also featured Kiwis rising to the top.

Golden girl Lorde featured prominently in the international music scene.

She started 2014 by winning two Grammys and continued to sell millions of copies of her compelling debut album, Pure Heroine.

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She topped an array of most influential and most powerful lists including Billboard's 21 Under 21, Forbes' 30 Under 30, and Time magazine's Most Influential Teenagers.

Another teen, Lydia Ko, broke new ground for golfers in 2014 after a record-breaking season on the LPGA Tour with 26 starts, 15 top-10 finishes and three victories.

The 17-year-old took in total season earnings of more than $3.8 million, with a $1.9 million win at the Race to the CME Globe.

She won the LPGA Tour's rookie of the year award - the youngest player ever to win.

And Valerie Adams was recognised for her dominance in shot put with the International Association of Athletics Federations World Female Athlete of the Year award last month.

Younger brother Steven Adams was a star rookie throughout his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team.

In the entertainment world, on December 8, Sir Peter Jackson was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In business, New Zealander Greg Foran was named as the chief executive of retail giant Walmart's American division.

Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger was the recipient of the Royal Society of New Zealand's Rutherford Medal. The Massey University scientist's research had provided a deep insight into how atoms and molecules interact at the quantum level.

But some made their mark in more unusual ways. Auckland man Lee Weir became a Guinness World Record holder for his extensive tattoo sleeve of Homer Simpson.