The nation's New Year Honours look back much further than one year for New Zealanders whose contribution deserves recognition.
Two names among those given titles today are well known. Both are women. Dame Valerie Adams and Dame Fran Wilde have had long, though quite different, careers in the public eye.
Dame Valerie will be remembered for the gold medal she won at previous Olympic Games rather than her silver at Rio this year but in some ways this one was better.
No drug cheat marred the women's shot put this time. Dame Valerie came to the games as the undoubted champion and performed like one.
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That is to say, she threw the shot that set the benchmark for the event and watched the other finalists try to beat it.
None came close until American Michelle Carter stepped up for her last chance and produced a flyer.
The admiration on Adams' face and the pleasure she took in her fellow competitor's achievement epitomised the finest values of sport, as she always had done.
Dame Fran Wilde remains best known for an Act of Parliament legalising homosexuality. It was a courageous step for a young MP but it was just the beginning of a career that quickly branched into Wellington's local government.
She became the capital's first female mayor and later chair of its regional council.
In those roles, and as chief executive of Trade New Zealand, hers has been one of the most clear, sensible, decisive voices of women in public life today.
Worthy dames indeed.