Benji Marshall: 'It's a very proud moment for my whānau'

By Te Ao Toa

This week Benji Marshall was given the New Zealand Order of Merit medal for services to rugby league and he spoke about starting with a dream as a young Māori boy from Whakatāne.

"If you work hard enough and you dream big enough, you'll be amazed at what you can achieve," Marshall told Te Ao Toa.

"I was just a young fulla from Whakatāne who had no idea what was going to happen to him. And then I got an opportunity in Australia, I just went for it, went hard.

Marshall said by working hard he was able to fulfil his dreams.

"I wanted to do things for my whānau that no one else in my family had done - buy my mum a house, do all those things.

"From working hard and dreaming big, all those things came true," Marshall said.

"I'm here today receiving this honour - for a young Māori fulla from Whakatāne, it's a very proud moment for whānau."