Adam Blair has lived the NRL dream winning a premiership, receiving over 50 international caps.
The pursuit of his oval-shaped dreams began 20 years ago when he left Te Tai Tokerau for Australia. However, it did come at a cost.
“Most probably the hardest time for me as a kid, the first three months.
“The last thing on my mind before I went to bed was…Nesian Mystic was the music for us back then.
“We played that every single day, it reminded us of home.”
As Blair discovered recently, following your passion can lead to the prestigious appointment of being made a Member of the New Zealand of Merit.
His wife was with him when he was informed about the honour.
“I didn’t know much about it to be honest, but as my wife was sitting on the couch, I said to her, 'I just got a call from the Governor-General, a lady there, and this is what’s happening.'
“She goes, ‘Oh, let me look it up.'
“I didn’t know much about it but as we’ve gotten to know about it, it’s obviously a really big honour for any person to receive, or even just being on the list.”
The NRL great is no stranger to success. He made his debut for the Melbourne Storm in 2006, which led to a premiership win in 2009.
He has also played for Wests Tigers, Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors. Blair has a career spanning 331 appearances, of which at least 195 of those appearances his sides have won. He has also made 51 international appearances include the legendary 2008 World Cup win for New Zealand. He is also the second Māori to surpass the golden number of 50 - four behind the first Māori to surpass 50, Ruben Wiki. Both are of Ngāpuhi descent.
The former NRL star is currently a university student.
Tune in to Te Karere today at 4pm for our story on Adam Ngawati Blair as we celebrate his achievement.