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The Block NZ's Mark Richardson & Shelley Ferguson hammer it out!

With The Block NZ: Girls vs Boys underway, we catch up with hosts Mark Richardson and Shelley Ferguson to talk DIY, but not as you know it!

Mark Richardson
Planning a family holiday: Get the professionals in or DIY?
DIY the whole way – if I do manage to get the whole way, that is. With sites like Trivago, Expedia and Skyscanner, using a travel agent is like using someone to hold the nail while you swing the hammer. Nail gun ... bang ... job done!
Shared lunch at school: Buy a packet of biscuits or DIY?
DIY. Loaf of bread, two bananas – once again, job done!
Date-night dinner: Book a restaurant or DIY?
There was a time when I would DIY this one – three courses, candlelight, table settings, soft music ... But of course, this was during the chase! Having caught the prey – my wife – a quick trip to the local sushi shop and back before The Block NZ starts appears to be the best way to deal with date night. So if you can call a sushi shop a restaurant, then yes, book a restaurant.
Mowing the lawns: Pay the kid next door or DIY?
DIY. How dare you insinuate that I might not care for my own lawn. I’m a man!
Kids’ clothing alterations: Send it off to Grandma or DIY?
Again, I’m a man!
As a former Black Cap, do you DIY kids coaching?
When you’re a young player taking your early steps into professional sport, you often travel to England to play as the “pro” of a local club. The word pro is misleading as you end up coaching school kids while the teachers do their marking. As a result, I never want to coach again.
Car maintenance: Head to the mechanics or DIY?
Ah, the lost art of manliness – being able to tinker with your motor. What’s a distributor cap and why are “twin cams” a selling point for my vehicle? I think this confusion might answer your question.
Anniversary gifts: Hit the shops or DIY?
Refer to my answer re the date-night dinner.
Painting a room: Pay a pro or DIY?
Painting a room means stripping, sanding, plastering, sealing and priming. If painting was just painting, I’d DIY it, but it’s not. Patience is not my strong suit.
Mark and Shelley are keeping a watchful eye over the teams competing on this year's The Block NZ.
Shelley Ferguson
A family holiday: Get the professionals in or DIY?
It depends where you’re going. If it’s overseas, get the pros in to nail the logistics and planning properly. Going local? DIY it. Everybody has to experience a camping trip gone wrong by way of bad planning or weather – it’s a rite of passage for New Zealanders.
Shared lunch at school: Buy a packet of biscuits or DIY?
DIY! Kids love getting amongst it in the kitchen, so whip up a batch of bikkies with your little ones the night before. Just make sure they’re delicious and involve some kind of epic icing because you’ll probably be competing with the likes of Tim Tams, MallowPuffs and ToffeePops. Not to mention iced animal biscuits.
Date-night dinner: Book a restaurant or DIY?
Book a restaurant! If you’re cooking, one person always ends up spending more time in the kitchen. The whole point of a date night is to hang out together without any stress, so it’s important you’re both free from distractions – even though going out will probably involve food envy and one partner pinching most of the other’s meal!
Mowing the lawns: Pay the kid next door or DIY?
DIY! There’s nothing like the smell of freshly mown lawns and the satisfaction of getting the job done. It’s just what us Kiwis do.
Kids’ clothing alterations: Send it off to Grandma or DIY?
Send it off to Nana! That way, you’ve got more time to spend with the kids. Besides, nanas often love it. Even if they suck at sewing.
A night out on the town: Get your make-up done or DIY?
DIY it and spend the money you’ve saved on espresso martinis with the girls instead.
Car maintenance: Head to the mechanics or DIY?
This falls into the same camp as DIY lighting. Guys, just go to a pro. Please. Don’t put us through the mental anguish of at-home mechanics – unless you actually are one.
Anniversary gifts: Hit the shops or DIY?
DIY! Even if the result is questionable, the thought and effort will get you a 10/10 in the Brownie-points stakes. For our first anniversary, symbolised by paper, my hubby made me a bunch of paper roses – it’s the loveliest present I’ve ever received.
Painting a room: Pay a pro or DIY?
This all depends on your skill level. If we’re talking about Mark, I’d definitely say hire a pro. Me, though, I’m pretty good at painting a room, so I’d save money and DIY it all the way.

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