This county has won more Olympic medals in athletics than in any other sport and there's an expectation at least one more will be added in this year's London Games.
World and Olympic champion Valerie Adams is overwhelming favourite in the women's shot put and today she was named along with Nick Willis (1500m), Stuart Farquhar (javelin) and Kim Smith (marathon) in the initial athletics team for London.
Five more have achieved the selection criteria but still need to be confirmed by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
For Quentin Rew, it will be a formality after he last night met the IAAF A standard in the 50km walk when he finished ninth at a race in Slovenia. His nomination should be received by the NZOC later this week.
Both Nikki Hamblin (1500m) and Adrian Blincoe (5000m) have met the A standard but are coming back from injury and need to "prove form" before they can book a place.
Brent Newdick (decathlon) and Jacko Gill (shot put) have both met the B standard and are expected to compete in London but, with rivals in their events - Scott McLaren in the decathlon and shot putter Tom Walsh - the selectors felt it was premature to award them a place.
"With just one B-category athlete permitted per country, the Athletics New Zealand selectors didn't believe it fair to close off selection with still more than 100 days to Games time," Athletics New Zealand convenor of selectors Graham O'Brien said.
It is likely to be the smallest New Zealand team since six athletes competed at Seoul in 1988 and down on the 10 who went to Beijing four years ago but NZOC general secretary emphasised the quality of the team.
"The addition of the athletics team is really significant," Smith said. "Athletics is our most medalled sport in the history of the Games [with] nine gold, two silver and nine bronze. The first Olympic medal [for New Zealand] was Harry Kerr [in the 3500m walk] in 1908 in London so we hope athletics will make history again in London.
"It's a small team right now but clearly it's going to expand and, without doubt, will be really talented and we look forward to athletics continuing their proud record at Olympic Games."
For Willis and Farquhar, who were present at today's announcement, it makes the Olympics seem more real and both will compete in their third Olympic Games.
Willis is still hoping to add the 5000m to his Olympic programme and comfortably won the national 5000m title on Friday night.
"It's nice to have the formalities complete, now I can take care of a lot of the logistics required to make the final preparations," he said clutching the formal invitation letter in his hands.
"This whole weekend really has [made it all seem real]. It brings it home. Especially as I am leaving, I leave on Tuesday to go back home [to the US] before taking off on the final journey [to London]."
The NZOC have strict criteria - all competitors must be capable of finishing inside the top 16 - before they are given their boarding pass to the Olympics and Smith said they hoped to finalise the athletics team by the middle of June. Athletes on the cusp of selection will still have until July 8 to achieve the qualifying standards.
Others like Monique Williams (200m), Sarah Cowley (heptathlon), Jake Robertson (5000m), Lucy Van Dalen (1500m) and Andrea Miller (hurdles) are all still confident of meeting the qualifying standards but would need to produce something special to do that.