Joan and Murray Craig are familiar faces in Huntly after committing more than three decades of their lives to the town.

The couple has been recognised for their work with a Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year medal along with 200 recipients across the country.

To help out the community is a no-brainer for the pair as it's just in their nature, the say.

"You're only as good as the people around you," Murray said.

Joan has previously been involved in the netball community and early childhood centres. 

She was in the founding group of the Huntly Early Childhood Centre which she has since retired from.

Nowadays she contributes a lot of her time to Red Cross Huntly.

Initially it was a "part time activity" to host coffee and craft mornings when the care and craft group she used to run had folded.

As part of a core group, fundraisers were held through garage sales but after being inundated with donations it was decided to open an op shop.

"We raise about $10,000 a year, and we put $4000  towards Kaikoura... it's money that comes from the community," Joan said

For Murray, he's contributed a lot of his time  to Huntly Lions Club projects. 

He's been secretary of the club for a few terms and helped out with fundraisers including the annual golf tournaments which raised $4000 for St John this year.

"I enjoyed the company and we did a lot of big projects."

At local Anzac parades you'll see his percussion skills shine as well.

Being part of the Artillery band has also been a huge part of life and he's received a long service medal for 19 years as a percussionist. 

To have both of their efforts nationally recognised was a surprise, he said.

"It was out of the blue really, you sort of feel humbled... a lot of the projects [you do] with the band and the Lions, you're [just] part of team."

The news seemed to be a hoax initially, Joan said, but the pair who class themselves as "do-ers" enjoy what they do and want to continue contributing for as long as they can.


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