Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

Former TVNZ star Gordon Harcourt still chasing a Fair Go

Gordon Harcourt has not just packed in Fair Go - he has left television altogether and has applied for a volunteer role at his local Citizens Advice Bureau.

The consumer affairs champion made his final appearance on Fair Go last week after eight years in the job.

But he still wants to fight for people's rights and has put his name forward for unpaid work at the CAB in Grey Lynn, Auckland.

"I wanted to leave TV before TV left me," Harcourt told the Herald on Sunday. "I'd love to work for the CAB and I have put in an application form.

"I really loved helping people on Fair Go and that is something I'd like to continue to do.

"Eventually I will have to get a regular job to pay the bills but it won't be in the media.

I have done that for 28 years and it is time to try something completely new.

"I like public service and it would be great to be able to continue to offer some passionate advice to people."

The 49-year-old dad-of-three is also considering standing for his local community board and plans to give up time to help the building lobby group Hobanz.

"I was pretty rinsed out after dedicating a lot of time to Fair Go," he said. "At the moment I am just enjoying being a house husband and doing the school run."

Harcourt took over hosting Fair Go from Kevin Milne in 2011, alongside Ali Mau, before Pippa Wetzell took over as co-presenter.

He made headlines five years ago when he was assaulted by a used car dealer who had been the subject of a Fair Go investigation.

Harcourt was left with a black eye, a bleeding nose and suspected concussion after allegedly being punched three times while shooting in Mt Maunganui. He revealed he handled the situation by drawing on a previous encounter with a knifeman in Wellington.

"I was proud I didn't retaliate with the car dealer," he said. "Years ago at Lambton Quay a drunken idiot bailed me up with a knife and I was surprised with how I handled that too.

"He was holding the blade to my stomach and was screaming at me but I just calmed the situation down until the fire in his eyes went away.

"I find it is best to stay collected and focused in situations like that."

Harcourt said one of his proudest moments on Fair Go was when an item he did on car dealers selling dodgy vehicles by tender led to a loophole in the law being closed, which benefited consumers.

- Herald on Sunday

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