Top Kiwi sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke say they are "humbled" to be made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit and hope to inspire young Kiwis to dream big.

The Olympic gold medallists and America's Cup-winning pair were made members for services to sailing, during an investiture ceremony today at Government House in Auckland.

Tuke, 29, said it was an "amazingly proud day" for them.

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"With our closest family around it is a really proud one for Pete and I, especially for our grandparents, they will be stoked."

The pair have enjoyed great success on the water, winning four consecutive 49er class World Championships (2013-2016) - the first to do so - and every major 49er regatta between the London 2012 Olympics and Rio 2016 Olympics, culminating in a gold medal.

The pair were also captains of the New Zealand Olympic team that went to Rio and came back our most successful Olympic team ever.

Since Rio they have dedicated themselves to helping Team NZ win the 35th America's Cup in 2017, and more recently completed the 2017/18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Tuke said this recognition was up there with all of their achievements.

"These sorts of days are very humbling, with amazing New Zealanders around us, hearing what they have done."

The pair acknowledged the other New Zealanders recognised, including Emeritus Professor Dame Charmian O'Connor of Auckland for services to education and chemistry.

"For us, it is just about going sailing, and doing the best we can."

Top sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke following the Investiture Ceremony at Government House in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig
Top sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke following the Investiture Ceremony at Government House in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig

They were included in the Queen's New Year's Honours List in 2016, but this was the first investiture ceremony they could make.

"We have been trying to make an investiture for a couple of years now, so it is great to be back in the country and enjoy this moment with some other incredible New Zealanders," said 27-year-old Burling of Tauranga.

They hoped to inspire young New Zealanders to dream big.

"Trying to inspire Kiwis to follow their goals, believe they can take it on out there in the world, in sport or any avenue," Burling said.

"It is pretty cool seeing what our country manages to achieve, hopefully we can inspire more young people to continue that legacy."

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy with top sailor Peter Burling and her husband Sir David Gascoigne during the Investiture Ceremony at Government House in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy with top sailor Peter Burling and her husband Sir David Gascoigne during the Investiture Ceremony at Government House in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig

Burling and Tuke were looking ahead to defending their Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo games, and the America's Cup with Team NZ in Auckland in 2021.

"We have been back in the 49er the last couple weeks, looking ahead to Tokyo, and at the same time we have a big build up to the America's Cup here in Auckland," Tuke said.

"It is a busy time, but we are looking forward to the challenges ahead."

Today's investiture ceremony was hosted by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, who was suffering from severe laryngitis.

Her husband Sir David Gascoigne assisted in speaking for her.

Dame Julie and Dame Lynda Topp, the Topp Twins, were honoured earlier this week during a separate ceremony for their more than 30 years of services to entertainment.