Richie McCaw awarded highest honour

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has officially been invested as a Member of the Order of New Zealand.

McCaw is one of about 40 people being celebrated at Government House.

The Order of New Zealand is the country's highest honour, limited to only 20 living New Zealanders. And 35-year-old McCaw is the youngest person to ever be appointed to the order.

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae acknowledged McCaw on the "way you've conducted yourself as a leader and a man" and was pleased to have honoured him with a medal.

He turned down a knighthood in 2011 after he won his first Rugby World Cup as All Blacks captain, saying it wasn't the right time. But after winning a second world cup, then retiring from rugby he agreed to the national honour.

Being appointed to the Order of New Zealand allows him to remain just 'Richie' rather than Sir Richie; he said last year he's never been comfortable with titles.