The right-arm quick, who has been clocked at 95mph, will be available for the entire campaign and lead the pace bowling attack alongside Wahab Riaz, Hardus Viljoen and Ravi Rampaul.
Ferguson has taken 24 wickets in 17 limited overs matches for New Zealand since making his debut in 2016, with best figures of 3-17 and an economy rate just over six an over.
The 27-year-old made his Twenty20 international debut for the Black Caps last year and took 3-32 against Bangladesh.
He was picked for Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2017 IPL and was rewarded for his spells of fast bowling with figures of 2-7 in a 61-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.??An all-format bowler, he has also played 33 first-class matches and taken 124 wickets, at an average of 23.26 and with best figures of 7-34.??Cricket Advisor, Kim Barnett said: “Lockie is very quick, regularly bowls over 90mph and has IPL experience. We’re delighted to have him on board for the Vitality Blast.
“Lockie will complement our attack alongside fellow overseas Wahab Riaz and we’re looking forward to see how they go.”
Ferguson added: “I’m absolutely delighted to play in the Vitality Blast for Derbyshire. The county has a long association with New Zealand cricket along with the current Specialist Twenty20 Coach John Wright.
“Interestingly, I read an article about Wright’s time playing for Derbyshire in the 1980s. With the rules only allowing one overseas player per game, John said how it was always funny when opposition sides saw the team sheet and how happy they were to see him in the side.
“What that, of course, meant was that Michael Holding wasn’t playing. Hopefully, I can get a couple down at some pace that former Derbyshire fast bowlers would be proud of. I cannot wait to represent the county with pride.”