Blog Post

Queen’s Birthday Honours: Reverend John Marsden ‘humbled’ by honour

A reverend who has worked tirelessly for the advancement of Māori says he is "humbled" to be recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Reverend John Marsden, 70, has been named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and the community. 

"It's an absolute honour. The people who put my name forward, I'm just humbled by their thoughts they wrote," Marsden said. 

His long and varied career started at the Bank of New Zealand, where he stayed for 24 years.

From there, Marsden moved to the Ministry of Education where he encouraged young people into training and apprenticeships. 

After that, he moved into health, putting in two years as a manager at Starship Children's Hospital before helping to set up the Māori health provider for Ngāti Whātua.

​He now works at Te Puna Hauora, a Māori health provider on Auckland's North Shore.

"People involvement has always been the reward for me – dealing with people and working for people," he said. 

"In all jobs I've had dealing with people has been the highlight – particularly people who are finding life difficult to contend with, in that circle [they] are generally Māori.

"I am a Māori and my responsibility is to be able to support Māori."

Marsden said retirement wasn't on the cards anytime soon. As well as his part-time work at Te Puna Hauora, he also worked as a priest.

"I perform a whole lot of priestly work, attending tangi and blessings of all kinds and dealing with families who have experienced sadness with death."