Sir Colin Meads statue unveiled in hometown

One of New Zealand's most iconic All Blacks has been honoured with a statue in his hometown of Te Kuiti.

Sir Colin Meads, 81, had a bronze statue of him unveiled ahead of the opening of the Gallagher Meads Brothers Exhibition in the King Country town.

"I won't be able to have too many beers [to celebrate] afterwards but I'll try and have a few," he says.

The 2.9m high sculpture was designed by Auckland artist Natalie Stamilla and was made to honour the 55 test All Black nicknamed "Pinetree."

Sir Colin Meads, Te Kuiti
Sir Colin Meads (right) stands next to his statue. Photo credit: Newshub/ Jacob Brown
Sir Colin Meads, Te Kuiti
Images of Sir Colin and Stan Meads playing rugby. Photo credit: Newshub/ Jacob Brown

His younger brother, Stan Meads, 78, will also be recognised. He played 15 tests in the black jersey over his career with his final test being against the British and Irish Lions in 1966.

"The statue looks amazing," Legendary Te Kuiti committee marketing officer Yvette Ronaldson said.

"It's definitely a community event, it's not just a celebration for Sir Colin and Stan and the Meads family, it's also a celebration for Te Kuiti."

Sir Colin Meads,, Te Kuiti
Hundreds of locals packed the main street of Te Kuiti for the ceremony. Photo credit: Newshub/ Jacob Brown

The tribute project was put together by the town's Legendary Te Kuiti committee and was funded by sponsors, donations and grants.

Other notable New Zealanders attended the unveiling including prominent sports commentator Keith Quinn and former All Blacks' Sir Brian Lochore and Bryan Williams.

British and Irish Lions team manager John Spencer was also in attendance.

Sir Colin Meads played 133 games in total for the All Blacks and scored 86 points over his international career that lasted more than 14 years.

His final test was also against the British and Irish Lions during the 1971 tour, which is the last time the visitors beat the All Blacks in a test series in New Zealand.