Sir Colin Meads received a standing ovation as the impressive 2.7 metre bronze sculpture was unveiled by the man himself and his brother Stan.

As a pale and proud Meads stood in front of the monument - the similarities between him and a younger fitter Meads were clear.

Sir Colin Meads reaches up to touch the statue of himself while his wife Verna Meads looks on. Photo / Alan Gibson
Sir Colin Meads reaches up to touch the statue of himself while his wife Verna Meads looks on. Photo / Alan Gibson

Following the unveiling Meads apologised to the large crowd for not being "as fit as he used to be".

Meads said he would not be able to have too many beers at the after function, "but I will try to have a few".

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He admitted to originally thinking the statue was ridiculous, but was now proud to see it come to fruition.

"There's nothing much one can say on an occasion like this."

But he added that he was humbled and honoured.

Stan, who described himself as the tail behind the dog, said he thought the sculpture looked great and was a good likeness to Pinetree in his playing days.

"He's a bloody good bugger," he said of his older brother.

He said they now had Meadsville blood in their veins.

Earlier commentator Keith Quinn has welcomed people to Meadsville for the unveiling of the giant Sir Colin Meads statue telling people to leave their soccer balls at the door.

Meads, dressed in a sharp grey suit, and his wife Lady Verna were seated in the front With his brother Stan and wife Beryl seated beside them.

Friend and former All Black Brian Lochore made Meads laugh during his speech several times especially when he told how two country boys, himself and Stan, thought a bidet was a foot wash while on tour with the All Blacks in France.

He also spoke of Meads' support to New Zealand and rugby.

"What he has done for Te Kuiti is amazing... but what he has done for New Zealand is unsurpassable."

Waitomo mayor Brian Hanna has taken to the stage to welcome people, calling Te Kuiti the Meads capital of the world.

New Zealand Rugby president Maurice Trapp has described Meads as a "giant presence".

"He represents the true presence of New Zealand Rugby and New Zealand as well.

"The one question I have is whether Natalie the sculptor has been able to build a heart bigger than the man."

He also told of occasions where Meads would prefer to drink jugs of beer while everyone else drank champagne.

The unveiling of the statue is in a courtyard on Te Kuiti's Main Street behind the railway station.

Meads family including his brother Stan Meads, youngest daughter Shelley Hans and her husband former Chiefs hooker Paul Mitchell and former All Blacks Brian Lochore and Brian Williams are all seated amongst other rugby personalities and dignitaries.

Lions supporters have also cheered - making their attendance known.