Lena Walker's 109th birthday went off without a hitch yesterday, as family and friends gathered in the Far North to help celebrate her milestone.
Walker – the oldest New Zealand-born woman – spent the day surrounded by loved ones, including former neighbours and rest home staff and residents at Radius Baycare in Haruru.
Grandson Paul Eley from Whangārei was there, as was Walker's granddaughter Mikaela and great-great-granddaughter Harper.
Rest home staff presented Walker with a large cake surrounded by 109 candles which were lit by the local fire brigade and blown out with help from school children.
Paihia Primary, Paihia Early Childhood Centre, Oromahoe School and Pakaraka School were also there to sing happy birthday to her.
Eley said the kids helped Walker open her gifts - including a mink blanket and a mattress topper - along with cards from the Queen, Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"They showed them to Lena and said what they were.
"Some of the kids asked her about what she did when she was little and what she did for a job. She enjoyed that.
"She had a really good time, she was more sprightly now than other times I've seen her.
"She enjoyed the singing and dancing the kids were doing for her. It was the kids that made her day."
Rest home activities manager Pauline Ferris said everyone had an "awesome day".
"The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and Lena did too, she was quite overwhelmed."
Lena was born Evelyn Wilkinson on June 11, 1912. She is listed as New Zealand's oldest woman by Gerontology Wiki, an online database of the country's oldest residents.