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The best job in the best little place

For an outdoors enthusiast, living in Central Otago really is living the dream – especially when you took the dream job with you! 

Craig Baker is the man behind Johnson & Couzins in the Southern end of the country, working primarily in the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts but with jobs taking him as far afield as Invercargill and the deep South.

A welder by trade, Craig has been working for Johnson & Couzins for nine years, initially as an installer based in Christchurch.

“I loved the company, the team and the job, but my heart was further South,” says Craig.

Craig moved to Geraldine but the pull of the mountains (and the slopes) drew him and his family to the stunning Lake Hawea community, where he became the local man behind the Johnson & Couzins name.

“Johnson & Couzins started in Central Otago 150 years ago providing shelter and clothing for the goldminers, so it’s pretty cool being back here where the company started – although the shelter and shade products we sell have changed drastically!”

The majority of Craig’s work involves quoting and installing a range of Johnson & Couzins products, including SkyLouvres, Boulevard Retractable Awnings and Calido Zip Screens. 

“The design and unique technology the Johnson & Couzins products offer is perfect for the conditions down here, with sensors for rain and in-built heating systems.  It means that even on the chilliest of Queenstown days you can still enjoy an outdoor space.”

And while the majority of Craig’s work is residential, the commercial side of the business is growing – the outdoor spaces at Joe’s Garage and the rooftop Surreal Bar are just two examples of Craig’s commercial work.

“It’s just such a great job to have.  I love the products and seeing how they can make an incredible difference to how people interact with their outdoor zones.  And my wife and I get to raise our two girls in the best little place in the world.  You certainly can’t beat that!”