Rotorua creatives Jill Walker and Brian Potiki - known as The Travelling Tuataras - have been awarded the New Zealand Children's Art House Foundation Award - The Artists Most Contributing to Children 2016.
Their win was marked with an afternoon tea at the Rotorua Lakes Council yesterday.
Mayor Steve Chadwick said it was a celebration of a unique couple who had created a special energy in the community.
Mrs Chadwick said the pair had been a part of the art community throughout New Zealand for a long time and they realised long ago that children weren't being catered for and took the opportunity to put that right.
Council creative portfolio lead Trevor Maxwell said the Travelling Tuataras were role models, not only for children but for adults as well.
"I have seen and admired the work that Brian and Jill have done over many, many years," Mr Maxwell said.
Ms Walker said she was happy to see everybody in the one room for the celebration.
"I would like to thank each and every one of you and all the people who came with you as well as those who are not here anymore," she said to the crowd through tears.
The Travelling Tuataras formed in the early 1990s and have travelled nationwide helping communities with art programmes. They met as students at Waiariki Institute of Technology.
Some of their community work includes Night Magic - a children's literature celebration, Children's Day celebrations, ArtsMad - organising and hosting speakers who share inspirational presentations, and the Rotorua Children's Art House.