Two 12-year-old cousins are become the youngest recipients of the Anzac of the Year award.
Will White and Sergio Schuler saved a man from drowning at Bowentown, near Waihi Beach, on 29 December last year.
The boys saw 32-year-old Vincent Shao in distress and between them managed to fight through one-metre-high waves and a strong rip to bring him to shore.
The Governor-General, Lieutenant-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, presented them with the award at the Waihi Beach RSA on Wednesday.
Will White says at the time, they didn't really think about what they had done and that they could have died.
When asked if he would do it again, he replied: "Yeah, probably".
Sergio Schuler said receiving the Anzac award is an honour and "quite amazing".
Sir Jerry said the boys embraced the Anzac ideals seen at Gallipoli of compassion, comradeship, commitment and courage and exemplify how the Anzac spirit is alive and strong in young New Zealanders.
Sir Jerry says the selection panel was unanimous in choosing to honour the boys.