A Queenstown radio jock and prominent sports/community volunteer having a crack at upcoming elections says he aims to fill a council void.
Craig ‘Ferg’ Ferguson, who moved to town 25 years ago, says he wants to offer a new set of eyes and ears around the council table.
“What I’ve learnt about the community and some of the, I suppose, minor battles that I’ve had over time have led me to consider putting my hand up.
“I guess I could stand on a sport and recreation ticket because I don’t think in my experience over the last five or six years, looking at council, that it’s been represented creditably.
“But my work in the community has been wider than that.”
A former New Zealand Colts and Junior All Blacks rugby player, Ferguson, 54, says he’s been right across the community from kindergarten and school committees to one for the Abbeyfield old folks home.
A highlight was winning a ‘local hero’ medal last year in the Kiwibank NZer of the Year Awards.
Ferguson’s first political experience was helping set up the Wakatipu Sports Users Group five years ago – “which was the [sports] community standing up for what we thought was the way they were being unfairly treated at the time”.
Issues that concerned the group included a hike in fees for ground use and sports being bumped from the Events Centre in Frankton to make way for non-sporting events.
“Most things have been solved,” Ferguson says.
The father of two teenagers and foundation Bruce Grant Youth Trust trustee says he’s passionate about youth: “I’d just like to think they have a voice.”
Citing local kids getting boozed during Winter Festival events, he asks: “What are we doing for these people, are we putting the right messages out there?”
Ferguson says he considered standing for council three years ago but felt his daughters, now 17 and 15, were then too young.
“I feel now, even three years on from when I thought I might have stood, that I’m a lot more knowledgeable and have a lot more to bring to the role.
“There’s no greater honour than to go and put your hand up and say, ‘look, I want to represent you people – if you think I’m good enough, then vote for me, if you don’t, I can live both ways’.”
Ferguson’s the second non-councillor to declare they’re standing – the other is Fiona McArthur. This year’s council elections are October 12.
The Craig Ferguson file
Born 1958, raised in Hamilton, left school after fifth form
NZ Colts and Junior All Blacks 1978-1980, Hawkes Bay rep 1980-1984
1988, married Jo Tickner, moved to Queenstown; first job as liftie on Coronet Peak
1991, captained successful Wakatipu Premiers rugby side
In 20th year as a radio announcer, originally with Q92 FM; now with Classic Hits
On Events Centre trust in mid-1990s
Helped form Wakatipu Sports Users Group
President Remarkable Runners, Bruce Grant Youth Trust trustee, chairperson Wakatipu High sports council steering committee, Abbeyfield Frankton committee, Sport Central steering committee, Queenstown Swimming Club committee, Aspen Sister City committee
‘Local hero’ medallist, Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year 2012