No beefs on The Block for ex-Queenstowners


There’s no such thing as sibling rivalry for former Queenstowners Ben and Libby Crawford on hit TV show The Block NZ. 

The brother and sister – competing against three couples in TV3’s reality DIY home show – reckon their success so far is mainly due to the fact there’s no boyfriend-girlfriend bickering between them. 

“It’s a different dynamic, we can call a spade a spade and have a laugh at stuff,” Libby says. 

“For us it’s an adventure – we haven’t lived together for years, whereas the others, they live together at home, and they’re comparing this to that, and they’re under pressure, and quite young couples. It’s a bit different for us.” 

Ben and Libby, who lived and worked in the resort between 2002-06, have so far won or taken second place in weekly challenges. 

“Both our personalities are that we’re quite cool, calm and collected and not easy frazzled, so that helps as well as the brother-sister thing,” Libby adds. 

Based on the popular Australian series, The Block NZ pits four Kiwi pairs against each other to renovate different houses in upmarket Auckland suburb Takapuna. 

At the end of the renovations, each house will be auctioned and the pair with the highest profit wins. 

Last week’s episode sparked an outrage on social media when Hamilton-based partners Sarah and Rich won the couples’ dinner challenge after a voting scandal. 

Unlike the other teams who voted each other fairly, Sarah and Rich gave their competitors the lowest score possible, resulting in them getting the highest number of votes. 

Libby and Ben were the likely winners had the votes been fairly cast. 

“It was all a bit underhanded,” Ben says. 

“We all get on really well but the dinner challenge changed everything. Those guys that did that got on the outer after that and still are, to be honest. They didn’t win any friends, that’s for sure.” 

Originally from Southland, Ben, 31, and Libby, 29, still spend several weeks a year in Queenstown at their parents’ holiday home. 

Ben, now youth marketing manager for Tourism New Zealand in Auckland, worked at Shotover Canyon Swing and Shotover Jet. 

Libby also worked for Shotover Canyon Swing and at The Duplicator. She’s now a senior graphic designer in Christchurch. 

They’re the only team from the South Island. 

“We’re quite proud that we’re South Island representatives,” Libby says. 

“We want Queenstown to get in behind us.”