Veteran broadcaster Barry Holland has officially been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

He received the honour from the Governor General at Government House in Wellington this morning.

Holland's career at Newstalk ZB has spanned over six decades.

He has presented and produced sports shows, commentated and tried his hand in television.

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Holland said his excitement soon turned to nervousness ahead of the ceremony but a huge smile spread across his face as his children, grandchildren and the rest of the crowd erupted into applause.

"To get some acknowledgement like this, and for someone to go through the process and find other people who could back up the fact that I deserved an accolade like this, was quite amazing," Holland said.

Since retirement, Holland has trained working journalists and aspiring students across the country.

"It's a whole new thing for me that I've been able to pass on to others.

"When you get to this stage, what you get out of it is a sort of reflected glory," he said.

Holland said one of his favourite moments from his career was covering New Zealand's win at the 1995 America's Cup in San Diego.

"To go through the contest when they were winning so well, to when they won it, to be asked by one of the crew if I wanted to go on board the black boat, well, that just topped it all off."

Holland has also been president of Polio New Zealand and a voluntary member of the New Zealand Crippled Children's Society.