Murray Halberg was born in Eketahuna on 7th July 1933. Murray was educated at Avondale College for all of his secondary education.
Halberg was a rugby player in his youth. During a game, he suffered a severe injury that left his left arm crippled. After this, Halberg took up running. His handicap seemed only to motivate him to succeed.
Halberg went on to claim many New Zealand titles including, the New Zealand Mile Championship in 1954, 1955, 1956,1957 and 1960. Halberg’s time of 4 minutes 4.4 seconds for the mile in 1954 was the fastest time on grass for a 20 year old.
In international events Halberg has claimed numerous titles. The most prominent are, the 1960 Olympic gold medal for the 5000m and the two gold medals he won in the 1958 and 1962 Commonwealth Games for the 3 Mile event.
Halberg was made an M.B.E in 1961 and knighted in 1988. In June 2008, during the Queen’s Birthday honours, Halberg was appointed to the Order of New Zealand. Later that same year, he was awarded the Blake Medal for his service of more than 50 years to athletics and to children with disabilities.
In 1963, Halberg set up the Halberg Trust, which supports children with disabilities. This trust also oversees and manages New Zealand’s premier sporting awards, ‘The Halberg Awards’. These awards recognize the sporting excellence of New Zealanders.
The House logo of Halberg features the bell used in middle distance track running events. It signifies the last lap of these races, representing that one is close to achieving their goals, and ultimately, success. The stripes across the bell represent the athletics track and Sir Murray’s achievement in sport. It also represents a lifetime dedicated to supporting others in their endeavour to overcome their own personal challenges, and reach success, and gain the recognition they deserve. Halberg members strive to be determined, humble and to demonstrate the values that have enabled Sir Murray to make a positive difference to New Zealanders’ lives