Tauranga gold medallist Peter Burling will never forget bearing the New Zealand flag at the Rio Olympics.

Speaking at a presentation at Tauranga Waterfront after the Olympian's parade, Burling said carrying the flag was "an amazing experience".

"Winning gold for the last four years of our lives - to achieve that goal is amazing."

Following a haka, Tauranga Boys' College presented to their old boys Burling, Jason Saunders and Sam Meech.


Tauranga Boys' College deputy principal Johnson Davis said the school was proud of how their former students shone through as outstanding role models for its young men.

"The Olympics has afforded us the opportunity to not only celebrate your individual and team success, but also provides that special moment, to challenge our boys and young men to dream, to dare and to believe."

During the parade through Tauranga's CBD, Burling and Blair Tuke were swamped by children wanting autographs.

A reporter at the parade said Burling and Tuke got off the back of the ute they were travelling in and were mobbed by 20 to 30 excited children.

"They were all asking him to sign autographs. He's still signing them now, which is holding up proceedings."

Te Wharekura o Mauao students also performed a haka.

A short ceremony is taking place at Edgewater Fan with a chance to hear from the athletes and Mayor Stuart Crosby.

The parade will include gold medallist and NZ flag bearer Peter Burling, silver medallists Molly Meech and Luuka Jones, bronze medallist Sam Meech, and Jason Saunders.