Survivor New Zealand Full Cast Reveal

All sixteen cast members for Survivor New Zealand are revealed.

For the first time ever, 16 Kiwis will compete in the world’s toughest game – Survivor New Zealand. The 16 castaways, selected from over 8000 applicants, will be split into tribes and spend up to 40 days in the Nicaraguan jungle, where they will battle it out in an ultimate test of endurance, strength, and strategy. Each week, they will compete in Reward and Immunity Challenges, with eliminations taking place weekly at Tribal Council. The winner will walk away with $100,000 and the title fo New Zealand’s first Sole Survivor.

The season, hosted by Fair Go reporter Matt Chisholm, is set to premiere May 7 and will air twice a week on Sundays and Mondays on TV2. And if that’s not enough to satisfy all your Survivor needs, you can head to from May 8 to watch Little Survivor, a weekly companion show which will be available after every Monday episode. The spin-off show will see Kiwi comedian Alice Snedden and Resident TVNZ Survivor aficionado Matty McClean break down the most talked about moments from Survivor New Zealand with various guests.

Each day this week TVNZ has been revealing the Survivor New Zealand cast members, and now we can get to know the entire cast a little better.


Avi | Age: 32 | Location: Wellington | Occupation: Youth Expedition Leader

How would you describe yourself?
Adaptable, enthusiastic, reckless.

Why are you doing Survivor?
Because it has been my dream for a long time.
People always tell me I should do it, and it has been
something I’ve thought about since I was a teenager.

What did you do to prepare?
Nothing! I didn’t have time. I was leading back to
back trips in the months leading up to it. My last
trip (that ended the day before I flew to Nicaragua)
was in Ireland. I was teaching creative writing with
National Geographic. So I guess I just ate a lot of
lamb shanks and potatoes. In saying that, I was very
well prepared to go into a group situation as a
listener, leader, and facilitator.

What are your pet peeves?
I’m not great with snoring. Also repetition,
as in conversation.

What’s your strategy?
Be quiet and listen. Do well, but not too
well, at everything.


Barb | Age: 53 | Location: Auckland | Occupation: Mother

How would you describe yourself?
I am determined, authentic, trustworthy, practical,
creative and fun to be around.

Why are you doing Survivor?
Let’s call it a midlife crisis. I’m a long-time fan and
the opportunity to do something challenging and
outrageous was tempting, and I wanted to show my
children a different version of their mum.

What did you do to prepare?
I walked 55km a week and swam 2km four times a
week. I ate small plain meals. I practiced balancing by
walking around a horse arena. I attempted starting
fires and cracked a few coconuts – voila, a Survivor
contestant is made.

What are your pet peeves?
People who just never shut up. Work-shy, lazy types,
and those who take themselves too seriously and do
not lighten up.

What’s your strategy?
To stay true, I don’t want to be in an alliance until I have
seen the personalities and emotional intelligence of my
tribe. I’d rather play as an individual as I know my worth
and trust my own perception and intuition rather than
be in a herd.


Dee | Age: 29 | Location: Auckland | Occupation: Customer Service Rep

How would you describe yourself?
Bookish and sarcastic.

Why are you doing Survivor?
I am a huge fan and have been watching since 2000.

What did you do to prepare?
Got fit and fat.

What are your pet peeves?
Knife lickers.

What’s your strategy?
Don’t get voted out first. After that reassess.


Georgia | Age: 26 | Location: Palmerston North | Occupation: Singer/Dancer

How would you describe yourself?
Energetic, out-going, down to earth, loyal.

Why are you doing Survivor?
To challenge myself physically and mentally.

What did you do to prepare?
Researched every aspect of the game, and watched
as many episodes of Survivor as I could. Trained, went
to boot camps, ran, exercised and ate less to shrink my
stomach to prepare for the worst!

What are your pet peeves?
Laziness, superficial, and untrustworthy people.

What’s your strategy?
I want to play the game as it comes, forming strong
alliances, and give it everything I have!


Hannah | Age: 27 | Location: Whangarei | Occupation: Kindergarten Teacher

How would you describe yourself?
A very alternative, kickass, powerlifting, sassy pinup
gal with pink hair, a killer sense of 1950s style and
a mindset that wants to prove to people that you
shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Why are you doing Survivor?
I want to prove to NZ that there is more to people
than appearance. I work out five times a week and
pick up more than my bodyweight. Yes, I am curvy
but I am hella strong at the same time. I live by a
motto of “fit, healthy and strong at any size”. Beauty
and strength comes in all shapes and sizes. I want to
prove to people you are not defined by a number!

What did you do to prepare?
Cardio, all the cardio! I would do two cycles of tabata
5 times a week! Mentally, I knew it was going to be
tough. I know people are going to judge me on my
appearance, so I made an aspiration wall to remind
myself of why I was going to do this crazy thing. I also
binge-watched so many Survivor episodes – it got to
the point I was freaking myself out so I stopped.

What are your pet peeves?
Being lied to. If you say, “you got my back” and then lie
to me, it’s on!

What’s your strategy?
To lay low, do what I am told, and prove that I have
strength until I can make my move.


Izzy Age: 30 | Location: Auckland | Occupation: Oil Rig Steward

How would you describe yourself?
I am someone who would see a dog with three legs
and want to adopt him on the spot; I’m empathetic.
I am resilient, and although I sometimes come across
shy and quiet I have a strong sense of who I am. I
can rise to a challenge and be quite competitive. I’m
inventive and can think creatively on the spot.

Why are you doing Survivor?
Because I can’t resist a challenge. I like to try on
different shoes and test myself in different situations.

What did you do to prepare?
Not much, because I didn’t think I would get on the
show! My fiancé fashioned up some chin-up bar and
I just hung there. He was telling me, “ok go, go pull
up!” – but I couldn’t move an inch, it was hilarious.
My closest family and friends wrote inspirational
messages that I’m taking to the island for when
times get tough.

What are your pet peeves?
People who are not genuine. I don’t mind the dirt,
spiders or not having comforts, but if people are fake,
I find it hard to warm to them.

What’s your strategy?
Do my best in the challenges and see what happens.
I feel a lot of it is luck.


Jak | Age: 22 | Location: Lower Hutt | Occupation: Banking Consultant

How would you describe yourself?
I’m all about a good time. I can be pretty passionate
(or just loud). I’m malleable; I’m not everyone’s cup
of tea. I love a good chortle. I’m very lazy. I use words
I don’t know the meaning of. I’m very indecisive. Get
a few drinks in me and I’ll try anything.

Why are you doing Survivor?
It all comes down to being a fan of Survivor. I couldn’t
turn down the opportunity and I’ve criticised too many
contestants to not give it a go myself and see where I
stack up against them. The goal is to have fun and I’m
excited to take whatever comes from the experience.
Winning would also be nice.

What did you do to prepare?
Very little – I tried jogging, which quickly turned to
walking. I didn’t see the point in just walking so I tried
swimming. The swimming was fun but I don’t think it
helped much. I definitely didn’t lose any weight.

What are your pet peeves?
If you think cats are better than dogs we probably
won’t get along. People who hate Kanye West just
because he is Kanye West. Leave him alone. When
people hate on me for not always getting veges in
my fried rice. Sometimes I just like rice and meat.

What’s your strategy?
I feel like if I go in hunting for the win, I won’t make
it all the way to the end. I’m just going to take it easy
and go with the flow. I’ll try and let other people
make the big decisions so I don’t get pinned for the
big moves, but I will try and do enough so that if I do
make it to the end I have a realistic shot at winning.


Lee Age: 29 | Location: Motueka | Occupation: Canyoning Guide

How would you describe yourself?
Laid back, inquisitive, adventurous.

Why are you doing Survivor?
It sounded like a rad time!

What did you do to prepare?

What are your pet peeves?
Snoring! People who snore!

What’s your strategy?
Ride it like a wave man!


Lou | Age: 19 | Location: North Canterbury | Occupation: Farmer

How would you describe yourself?
I’m a bubbly, friendly person who would give the shirt
off my back if anyone needed it. I give everything a
go. I’m very adventurous and outgoing.

Why are you doing Survivor?
To test my boundaries. I love a great adventure and
challenge. It’s amazing to be able to go on a once in a
lifetime experience. I feel I will appreciate things more
in life after this and never take anything for granted.

What did you do to prepare?
I carried on with life as normal. If anything, I ate more
because I was worried I was going to lose weight. I
watched many episodes of Survivor to see the things
people were doing to keep themselves in the game.

What are your pet peeves?
People clicking their bones, thinking they’re right when
they’re wrong, not being loyal, lying.

What’s your strategy?
Be kind to those who help and support you and be
friends with everyone, as you never know when you
might need them. Be loyal and honest and just keep
myself in the game.


Mike | Age: 27 | Location: Tauranga | Occupation: Business Analyst

How would you describe yourself?
Adventurous, outgoing, enthusiastic, passionate
about life – I still haven’t met anyone that can keep
up with the outdoor adventure lifestyle that I lead!I’m
a dreamer and an optimist – I want to change the
world for the better. I treat everyone with the utmost
respect and try to be nice to everyone. People say
that somehow I never seem to get stressed out.

Why are you doing Survivor?
It’s been my dream to do the show since I saw the
very first season of Survivor. I feel that I’ve got all of
the skills that the winner of Survivor needs: physical,
social, stamina, and mental strength. I’m strategic,
like big challenges, and like being pushed to my limit.

What did you do to prepare?
I watched a few seasons of Survivor. I planned the
social game with my brother (a massive Survivor fan),
read a lot of Survivor strategy websites and challenged
friends to Survivor challenges (they didn’t know what I
was doing so they thought I was a bit weird).

What are your pet peeves?
Maybe just selfish people.

What’s your strategy?
My strategy going in is to form a group of trustworthy
friends with similar interests as quick as possible. Work
hard, go hard in challenges.


Nate | Age: 45 | Location: Dannevirke | Occupation: Senior Police Sergeant

How would you describe yourself?
Big but friendly. Firm but fair. A proud father, husband
and member of the New Zealand Police. I love making
people laugh and enjoy seeking out opportunities to
grow as a person – most recently having had two lead
roles within a local musical theatre company.

Why are you doing Survivor?
It was my wife’s idea to apply, but I had the final say
– and those words were “yes dear”. It’s the most
successful reality TV show in the world!

What did you do to prepare?
I tried a few days of eating less than 600 calories
to see how I would get on with no fuel in the body. I
worked on some core strength and fitness training,
and studied personality traits and Neuro-Linguistic

What are your pet peeves?
I hate having to repeat myself, more than twice. I don’t
like bad winners either. Stay humble. Enjoy a win sure –
but remember what it’s like to lose.

What’s your strategy?
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Make some investments
early on and hope they generate some interest for you
down the track. Find someone who I can trust. Watch
and listen. Find out people’s motivations and what
drives them. You don’t win this game, or any games all
by yourself.


Sala | Age: 40 | Location: Christchurch | Occupation: Youth Worker

How would you describe yourself?
I am a NZ born Samoan who loves his stunning Maori
Queen and six children. I love loving people and
enjoy serving them, especially young people from
all walks of life. I am an undercover artist who loves
to paint, sing, and act. I love contact sport, so I am
always keen to smash and crash into people whether
it be legal or not.

Why are you doing Survivor?
I have always been a fan of the show from the very
first series and always wondered how I would go in
it! Also – the struggle is real for me and my family,
so the possibility of winning the prize money would
be amazing too!

What did you do to prepare?
I started training with my dear friend Vicky who
helped me prepare, but my diet was pretty rubbish –
I kept loading up with junk food. I watched YouTube
clips on how to open coconuts, how to start a fire,
and build a shelter.

What are your pet peeves?
Arrogance and liars I struggle with big time. People who
talk a lot and can’t back.

What’s your strategy?
I don’t have a strategy to be honest – other than to just be
who I am. A person who connects well with people and
create a culture of kotahitanga and whakawhanaungatanga
where people feel safe and included. The goal is to just be
me – and hopefully show that good guys can win Survivor.


Shannon | Age: 24 | Location: Christchurch | Occupation: Zookeeper

How would you describe yourself?
Super enthusiastic, competitive and a little bit gumby.

Why are you doing Survivor?
I’m a huge fan of the show and I really want to
challenge myself and see how far I can go.

What did you do to prepare?
Lots of running, swimming, weights and eating! I also
binge-watched past Survivor series to get an idea of
strategies that could work for me.

What are your pet peeves?

What’s your strategy?
Work hard, win challenges and gain everybody’s trust.
The weaker players tend to go first – until the merge,
and then the strongest become the targets.


Shay Age: 27 | Location: Hamilton | Occupation: Business Support Coordinator

How would you describe yourself?
Always smiling and laughing. Unless I’m hungry, then
I’m always angry.

Why are you doing Survivor?
I don’t have glamorous dresses so I had to pass on
The Bachelor – well, that and I’m married…but more
the dress thing. Plus, I was due for an adventure.

What did you do to prepare?
I went to FastFit boot camps four times a week to
get my butt kicked! I also asked my father-in-law to
teach me how to start a fire. After a long day of failed
attempts trying Man Vs Wild tricks, I just used a lighter.
I still have trust issues with Bear Grylls.

What are your pet peeves?
Whiny people and buzz killers. There’s nothing worse
than when you’re having a good time and someone
kills your buzz. As a teenager, I remember I stayed late
at a friend’s house and didn’t tell my parents then I got
a “you’re in trouble…” text from my sister. That was the

What’s your strategy?
Love everyone, trust no one.


Tom | Age: 26 | Location: Tauranga | Occupation: Teacher

How would you describe yourself?
Happy, inquisitive, competitive.

Why are you doing Survivor?
To challenge myself mentally and physically, and to
see how I hold up when I’m pushed to my limit.

What did you do to prepare?
I ate everything! I tried to store some extra energy by
packing on the pounds, but one week before flying
out I got a stomach virus and lost everything that I had
gained – it wasn’t pretty. I also watched episodes of
the US Survivor to try and see if there was a common
factor in how to win (there wasn’t one).

What are your pet peeves?
Bullies, and people who don’t pull their weight.

What’s your strategy?
I have a general idea of how I want to play it out, but
I’m sure that will all change when I get out there.


Tony | Age: 55 | Location: Gisborne | Occupation: Ex-army

How would you describe yourself?
Friendly, easygoing with a fairly positive outlook on
life. Pragmatic, logical thinker, straight-up, and I
speak my mind.

Why are you doing Survivor?
To experience the Survivor challenge and pit myself
against the unknown. I’m a big Survivor fan from the
first series (Rudy Boesch, the retired Navy Seal was
always my favourite character).

What are your pet peeves?
Lazy people who contribute little to the team effort,
or who beat about the bush and don’t come out and
say what’s on their mind.

What’s your strategy?
Survivor is a social strategic game that no individual
can win on their own. It’s all about numbers, so
forming alliances is critical.

Why do you think you should win?
I have worked hard all my life and never asked for,
or relied on any handouts, so maybe lady karma can
smile on me this time round… here’s hoping!

Stay tuned to Inside Survivor over the coming months for Survivor New Zealand coverage including episode recaps and player polls.

All Photos Credited to Scott McAulay.

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

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