The 52-year-old was officially confirmed in the role following Graham Henry's decision to retire in the aftermath of New Zealand's World Cup success.
And Hansen, who has spent eight years working as Henry's assistant, is thrilled to take over the reins.
"In this sport it's the greatest honour you can receive," said Hansen, who has been handed a two-year contract.
"It comes with a huge amount of responsibility and all I can say is that I'm passionate about rugby, passionate about New Zealand, passionate about the All Blacks jersey and its' legacy, and I look forward to the next two years with this team and taking it forward and enhancing that legacy."
It is the second time Hansen has succeeded Henry, with the former Canterbury back having replaced him as Wales boss in 2002.
Hansen guided Wales to the World Cup quarter-finals the following year before he returned to New Zealand to work with Henry once again.
And Hansen knows he will have his work cut out to emulate Henry's success - although it is a challenge he is relishing.
"If you look at the Rugby World Cup, teams (that win it) have struggled (afterwards) and that is what makes this so exciting," Hansen said.
"It was a magnificent thing that we achieved but this is a new team, a new group of people and we have to make our own history.
"There will be changes because there are new personnel involved but it would be foolish to change too much because they're not a bad side. They've won a few games over the last eight years.
"So that tells me what we have been doing hasn't been too bad and that continuity of me going from assistant to head coach allows us to have an understanding of what has been successful."
With Wayne Smith, who also worked as an assistant to Henry, having taken up a position with the Waikato Chiefs Hansen's first job is to assemble a new backroom team.
Ian Foster, who has previously worked with the Chiefs, and former Samoa assistant coach Aussie McLean are both believed to be among the front-runners to join Hansen.
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