New Year Honours: Kiwi rowing icons Hamish Bond and Eric Murray named as companions of New Zealand Order of Merit

The achievements of Olympic rowing icons Hamish Bond and Eric Murray have been recognised in the New Year Honours, with the pair both named as companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Bond and Murray's successes were acknowledged by being made members of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2012, with the pair upgraded to companions as further recognition of their achievements.

Despite the latest accolade, the pair emphasise the recognition of what they achieved pales compared to what they did together on the water.

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.
Hamish Bond and Eric Murray. Photo credit: Photosport

"To be fair, we, I, never really got into sport for the accolades," Murray told Newshub.

"We're both on the same page, it's quite a selfish pursuit you do for yourself. At the end of the day, what we achieved is something I doubt we'll ever see [again] in our lifetime.

"We obviously got recognition for that from our peers, the media and from the sporting public. 

"And it's on the back end of being decade champions at the Halberg Awards that those New Year Honours start creeping up and you're seen to achieve something no one else has been able to do.

"In a way, you look back at the list of our sporting heroes over those decades and it's 'Sirs' here, 'Sirs' there and 'Dames' here.

"I think it's another level for Hamish and I but, at the end of the day, we're trying to be humble people that go out to do something for a bit of fun.

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond with the Supreme Halberg Award (2021).
Eric Murray and Hamish Bond with the Supreme Halberg Award (2021). Photo credit: Photosport

"If you get an award or recognition on the side of it, we're most willing to take that - if we feel that we've achieved that recognition."

Paired together in 2009, Bond and Murray left a remarkable legacy in New Zealand rowing - winning two Olympic gold medals as a coxless pair, as part of a stretch that saw them combined for seven consecutive world championship titles.

So dominant were Bond and Murray, the pair won 69 consecutive races in tandem as New Zealand's premier men's pair.

The duo's best time of 6 minutes 8.50 seconds - recorded at the London Olympics in 2012 - still stands as a world record for the men's coxless pair. 

Bond and Murray also hold the world record time for the coxed pair, with 6 minutes 33.26 seconds at the 2014 Rowing World Championships in Amsterdam, with Caleb Shepherd.

The pair's incredible record together also saw them named as the winners of the 2021 Supreme Halberg Award, recognising the best New Zealand athletes from the decade 2010 to 2019.

Bond, 36, represented New Zealand in four separate Olympic Games, from Beijing 2008 to Tokyo 2020.

Away from his partnership with Murray, Bond also won gold in New Zealand's remarkable men's eight campaign and also claimed Commonwealth Games bronze on the Gold Coast in 2018 as a time trial cyclist.

Murray, 40, also competed at four separate Olympics from 2004 to 2016 and away from the water is a patron of Autism New Zealand.