Growing up in Northland Adam Blair had a dream - like every other kid - to play rugby for the All Blacks.
He never thought he'd have the level of success that has seen him made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to rugby league.
Blair grew up in playing rugby - mainly for the City Rugby Club, in Ōtangarei, where his dad, William Blair, played. Adam went to Ōtangarei School and Whangārei Boys' High School and also spent time in Panguru on the family farm.
Blair's dad died when Adam was 12 and his grandfather, Patrick Campbell, became his footballing and life mentor.
''Like every kid in New Zealand, I wanted to be an All Black. I had that dream, but never imagined it would lead me here. But I was a pretty grounded kid and was brought up well by mum (Catherine Blair) and dad and granddad so they kept me pretty grounded. Mum had eight kids who all loved sports and she was there every Saturday cheering us on at Kensington Park and was, and still is really, the rock that allows us all to achieve.
''I had a great upbringing in Northland and really loved the lifestyle. That helped make me the person I am today.''
That rugby dream deviated when he was plucked as a 15-year-old to go to Australia to play league for the Melbourne Storm, between 2006 and 2011, where he won the 2009 NRL Grand Final.
But growing up, the prop looked up to All Black greats like Josh Kronfeld and Zinzan Brooke to model his game on, and he loved Northland's own "Stormin' Norman Berryman.
Blair said one thing he has learned and something he would say to his teenage self, or any other youngsters, is follow your dream.
''Make sure you know what you are, where you are from, don't forget it and always stay true to yourself. If you are Māori, like me, understand and stay true to your culture, it helps keep you grounded.
''Just keep being the best person you can be, work hard and don't lose sight of where you want to be.''
Blair said when he first went to Melbourne he strayed a bit from those tenets in order to try to fit into the culture there, so he would feel part of the team. But that wasn't being true to himself and he found the success came when he went back to that basic mantra.
Like anybody who receives such an honour, Blair said the real accolades should go to those who helped get him to where he is, and that included his parents and grandfather.
''They are the reason I am here today.''
But perhaps one of the greatest honours for him is that the Northland secondary schools rugby league competition bears his name - The Adam Blair Trophy.
Adam Ngawati Blair is the second person to play 50 rugby league tests for New Zealand and has the second most NRL appearances by a Kiwi with 331.
Blair made his debut for New Zealand in 2006 and was a key player in New Zealand's first ever World Cup victory in 2008 against Australia. He was named New Zealand Rugby League International Player of the Year in 2009.
He was a front-row starter for the Kiwis in all Four Nations matches in 2014. He was co-captain in 2015 of the Kiwis squad that toured England, played in the 2017 Anzac Test, and was named Captain of the Kiwis' 2017 World Cup squad.
He skippered the Māori All Stars against the Indigenous All Stars in 2019 and co-captained their victory in 2020. He then played in every game for the Warriors 2020 season before retiring from playing.
He is an ambassador for Diabetes New Zealand and has supported a range of Warriors community programmes, with a special interest in wellbeing and mindfulness, particularly for young Māori.
Blair is also involved with the Rugby League Players' Association.
He also does match analysis on Warriors' games for Sky TV.