Who will win The Block NZ 2021?

It's auction time!
Jae Frew

It’s been a long wait for the contestants of The Block to get to the big auction, which finally airs Sunday night! Which team will come out on top?

Team Orange

When it comes to The Block NZ, Team Orange’s Meg Stallard and Dan Leen are used to being patient. Alongside their castmates, the Rangiora husband-and-wife have weathered a production shutdown, injuries and now the postponement of the Three show’s final auction due to COVID-19.

“We’ve gotten really good at being in limbo!” smiles Meg, 39.

But now the final chapter in the couple’s Block adventure is right around the corner, with all four Point Chevalier properties set to go under the hammer on Sunday, November 14, with the winning team

taking home an extra $100k.

“Now that it’s happening, I’ve got a feeling between excitement and nerves,” tells Dan, 46, who says he’d be hard-pressed to predict a winner. “We’ve given ourselves every opportunity to win, but I think all the teams have. Everyone’s put in 110%.”

While they waited for the auction, the construction company owners have kept themselves busy with work and a new hobby – homesteading – with a goal of making their house self-sufficient within the next five years.

“We’ve got solar power being installed shortly,” tells Dan. “We have fruit trees and farm animals, and we’re working on various ways of collecting water. The vege garden will be the final piece of the puzzle.”

Meg adds, “It’s a heap of work, but it brings us so much joy. I love figuring out how to make home-made versions of what we buy from the supermarket, so we only need to go there for toothpaste and soap!”

Learning by trial and error has meant a few less-than-perfect outcomes. Meg confesses, “My banana chips, despite 12 hours in the dehydrator, just never really work out.” But mistakes add to the richness of the whole experience.

“The thing I enjoy the most about what we’re doing is that continual learning,” explains Dan. “We try something and it doesn’t quite work, then we try it again and it works better.”

“That was our experience of The Block as well,” adds Meg. “The highlight for us was those little individual experiences and the learning that we got from those. That’s really our currency in life.”

Team Yellow

The chalk-and-cheese brothers of Team Yellow entered The Block as a bonding experience, but with Auckland-based Dylan Crawford in lockdown and his lil’ bro Keegan home in Greymouth, it’s been a while since the siblings have been face to face.’

“I definitely don’t miss seeing Keegan every single day!” chuckles Dylan, 30. “But there have been a couple of moments where I’ve thought it’d be nice to just hang out. When we found out about the auctions happening virtually, that was a bit gutting. We’ve gone through this incredible experience and now we won’t get to be together at the end.”

“We’ll just have to party up when lockdown’s finished,” says Keegan, 25, who has further cause for celebration with a new relationship – and a “40kg lap dog”. He explains, “I got the dog with Lizzie, my girlfriend, when we were dating a couple years ago. Now that we’re back together, our dog Melvin lives with me.”

Lizzie and Keegan originally met at a house party, and even when they broke up, the West Coast lad never completely moved on. “It was always a feeling that’d been there. We were just both in bad places at the time. Now it’s back on, it’s good – like nothing’s changed.”

The boys’ sister Maddie, who stepped in on The Block when Keegan was injured, is also back in Greymouth, utilising the skills she learnt with her siblings on the show in the house she recently bought.

“She and her partner are chipping away at different little renos,” reports Dylan. “She was building a wardrobe in the master bedroom and she plastered it herself, so she’s not afraid to give it a go now, whichis pretty cool!”

“I’ve been roped into reroofing their house over Christmas,” laughs Keegan, adding that he hopes his presents come early – in the shape of a Block victory. “I want to see what the final outcome of this whole venture’s been. Fingers crossed we make millions!”

Team Purple

Original Team Purple: Janah and Rachel

When Woman’s Day shot our glam auction-ready photos of the new Block contestants back in March 2020, little did we realise it would be a full 20 months before we could print them – and in that time, one of our fresh-faced stars would quit the show!

When the first lockdown hit, Janah Kingi left Team Purple, causing Rachel Martin to recruit her former army buddy Connie King to step in. Papamoa real estate agent Rach, 42, laughs, “That was a bit unusual, but Connie was awesome.”

Manawatū mum-of-six Connie, 40, adds, “We’ve had some cool times and we achieved such a mammoth task. I’m super-proud.”

The teammates are nervously anticipating the final auction. “It’s the unknown,” says Connie. “It’s like jumping off a cliff! There are some seasons where properties haven’t sold – that would be heart-wrenching.”

Rachel with her new teammate Connie

But Rach continues, “Everyone’s in with a good chance of winning. Buying a house is an emotional thing – it’s not about facts and figures. What I really want is for everybody to win a bit of money. Everyone worked so hard.”

When lockdown hit, the mum-of-three recalls, “I pretty much went home and slept. We were absolutely fried – mentally and physically. I’d go to bed and not get up until 3pm the next day. But lockdown actually allowed us to have some family time.”

Meanwhile, as an electrician and essential worker, Connie was back to business at home in Palmerston North, where she runs an electrical company with her hubby Isaac.

“I had to slot right in and finish a few jobs that we still had on. It was really flat-tack at the start.”

Yet the sparkie has still found time for a new business venture inspired by The Block’s site foreman Peter Wolfkamp.

She explains, “Wolfie told me 70% of waste is from construction, which really sunk in. Now we’re always looking for ways we can reuse things, making planters out of repurposed sinks and tubs.”

Team Blue

Auckland rugby besties Tim Cotton and Arthur Gillies may have started out as The Block’s underdogs, but Team Blue finished the last episode on a high, when the judges named their property the season’s Best House.

“To win that was an incredible feeling – it proved how far we’ve come,” says photographer Tim. “The first week, we had an absolute shocker. I don’t think many people saw us coming back from that.”

While the 26-year-olds nervously wait to see if the judges’ stamp of approval will translate to the auction block, the Auckland BFFs have spent lockdown in a bubble with their five other flatmates. “It’s been a busy place with one toilet!” jokes Tim, who has killed time joining Arty in outdoor workouts in their neighbourhood of Grey Lynn.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time down on the local rugby pitch, which is actually where Tim and I first met when we were 10,” says musician Arty. “The other day, we were kicking a ball around, having a dropkick competition, and I miscued one into Tim’s hand and injured it.”

At first, Tim thought his hand was only bruised, but after several weeks of pain, the former builder’s apprentice went for an x-ray.

“It was broken, but I’d kept going – very Colin Meads-esque! Now I’ve managed to get a high-tech bionic arm,” he chuckles, holding up a sleek new cast.

But it’ll take more than an accident – or a gruelling reality show – to put a dent in their friendship. Tim grins, “If anything, our relationship’s only grown stronger after The Block. I don’t know if other teams can say the same thing!”

Arty regrets not being able to gather with his fellow castmates for the auction. “We were hoping to be able to see the other teams in person and toast to everyone winning a bit of money, but at the end of the day, it’s a still a celebration of what everyone’s achieved. It’s been a long time coming, so we’re really excited to see what the buyers think.”

Laughing, Tim adds, “I’m hoping [Amazon founder and multi-billionaire] Jeff Bezos has his eye on our house!”

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