New Zealand's favourite DIY TV show is back for another year and never one to back down from a challenge, this year they're turning things up a notch for their most ambitious project ever - The Block NZ: Firehouse.
Turning up the heat for the eighth season of the iconic show, four teams will be put through their paces renovating a charming 1930s Georgian-revival fire station into five luxury apartments, set in the heart of Kingsland in central Auckland.
Back for another year, Mark Richardson returns as host and Shelley Ferguson as Challenge host.
"Luxury apartments? Bring it on," Shelly says.
"I'm very excited about this season's building - the Firehouse's eclectic history and spectacular views make it high-density living with a difference. The teams will quickly need to learn how to handle the different design challenges a character building brings, and I'm expecting luxury hotel design standards from them to attract astute buyers for these apartments."
Peter Wolfkamp also makes a comeback as Foreman, who will be overseeing the teams renos which he describes as one of the most challenging we've ever seen on the show.
"The complex nature of this year's build, along with the technical challenges, the heritage features and the sheer size and scale, means teams are really going to have to step up the mark and work harder than we've ever seen on The Block NZ," he reveals.
And who will be judging how well the new teams do? This year's judging panel welcomes a new face, Lizzi Whaley, who will join judge Jason Bonham for his fourth year on the show.
Lizzi has more than 20 years experience in both residential and commercial design and has worked with some of New Zealand's most renowned interiors including the Google offices and nationwide Spark retail stores and says she's very excited to be part of the show and see the teams bring their design vision together.
Given 12 weeks to complete the renovations, the end of the 12 weeks will see the teams' apartments put up to auction, with the ability for them to take home any profits made from the reserve and not only that, the team with the highest profit will also take away the grand prize - $100,000!
Four teams, five apartments, 12 weeks and the chance to win $100,000 this year is shaping up to be one of the most exciting yet!
Now, it's time to meet the contestants of The Block NZ: Firehouse.
Hailing from the capital, Lisa, 37, and Chris aka Ribz,34, believe they have what it takes to unlock success. Ribz, a print technician, is the self-described builder of the pair, while caterer Lisa excels on the decorating and shopping front.
The parents-of-three have spent 10 years honing their skills, renovating and decorating their own home to perfection, and although most teams have their favourites, these two are looking forward to renovating every single room on The Block NZ.
Also from Wellington, Stacy, 25, and Adam, 25, met while studying at Massey University and left nine years ago with degrees and a relationship. Both working in creative fields, Stacy runs her own design business while Adam works as a senior concept designer at Weta Workshop.
The couple believe their ability to style and decorate will set them apart from the rest. And while Adam will be relying on his practicality and composure to get him through the challenges, he hopes Stacy's love for drama is offset by her budgeting skills, time-management and attention to detail.
Best friends Ethan, 26, and Sam, 27, both have a lot of experience on a construction site, with Ethan being a builder and Sam a joiner, the pair are eager to sink their teeth in. Their dream reno room? The kitchen.
While Sam admits he's nail gun accident prone, he says Ethan's DIY skills are a force to be reckoned with and the best mates are confident that their tradie skills, project managing experience and fast-paced work style will live up to the high standards that they set themselves.
Husband and wife duo Sophia, 31, and Mikaere, 32, from Turangi are hoping their creativity and strong work ethic will give them an edge over the other teams. Sophia's an illustrator and chef, while Mikaere is an award-winning artist and teacher at a total immersion high school where all subjects (excluding English) are taught in Te Reo.
Parents to a 10-year-old daughter, the couple are no strangers to a spot of DIY, often taking on ultra-ambitious projects on their own home.
The Block NZ: Firehouse premieres on Three, Sunday June 17th at 7.30pm and continues on Monday - Wednesday at 7.30pm and Sunday nights at 7pm.
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