Ben was raised in Otara and is of Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou and Irish descent He has been the owner/operator of a portable sawmill, renovated houses and established a private training establishment. He was Chief Executive for Te Runanga a Iwi O Ngapuhi for two separate terms.
He has been Chief Executive of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, and Deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry for Fisheries. His current role is Deputy Director General of the Ministry for Primary Industries with responsibility for Sector Partnerships and Programmes.
He has served on both the Northland and Wellington Rugby League boards and remains involved in community development projects in Kaikohe. He has an MBA from the University of Auckland, and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Programme at Columbia University.