Acclaimed film director Jane Campion has been officially made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit at Government House in Wellington.

For a woman who spent her career behind the camera, today was Dame Jane's moment in the spotlight.

She was relaxed, informal and enthusiastic at her investiture, and the applause was almost deafening as she shook the Governor-General's hand. She even blew a kiss to her supporters.

Dame Jane said she was thrilled, and it felt like a summing up in some way.


"I think for me it's really special because I am a New Zealander, I've never changed my nationality, I love New Zealand and I love New Zealanders and it feels really good to be recognised by the New Zealand people."

She said although she was included in the New Year's Honours list, it hasn't felt official until today.

"I feel like I have to grow up a bit now. Time to give back some service. That's really what it brings to mind."

Dame Jane has made history throughout her career, and is best known for her film The Piano.