Meet the contestants of the new Survivor New Zealand!

Publish Date
Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 9:00AM

Survivor New Zealand is back!

This time 18 Kiwis will spend 40 days in the wilderness of Thailand, but only one can become the Sole Survivor.

So, who are the brave contestants of this new season?

Meet all 18 Survivor NZ hopefuls here:


I’m here to show that I’m one tough little cookie and will fight hard to win this!

Hometown: Christchurch
Age: 24
Occupation: Office Manager

Out to prove that “pretty girls can be tough too”, Tess is a huge believer in living life fearlessly, being brave and doing something that scares you. When the call to apply when out, Tess decided that being part of the world’s toughest competition looked insane, she just had to go for it! With a love of yoga and tarot cards, Tess is hoping the cards will be in her favour to take out the title of Sole Survivor.


My first move straight away when I get to the beach will be to try to find a core group of physical people I can trust and get on with.

Hometown: Tauranga
Age: 23
Occupation: Videographer

Owning the title ‘typical millennial’, Liam is all about going outdoors and having an adventure – be it on land or sea with some form of board in hand. Creating videos for YouTube is his latest venture, so as soon as he heard he was on Survivor New Zealand, he turned his camera on to film his reaction. With his ultimate pet peeve being people that walk too slow in front of him, Liam is pretty happy to know he won’t be dealing with too many sidewalks in Thailand.



First and foremost is to make friends and create loyal alliances within my tribe.

Hometown: Auckland
Age: 26
Occupation: Hiking Guide

Eve is part of triplet with two sisters, so definitely knows how to solve conflicts and battle it out – she’s had to since being in the womb! Not one to back down from a challenge, Eve

backpacked solo around the world and has already been to 22 countries. While overseas she did a lot of volunteer work, including helping out at animal shelters in South Africa, supporting medical campaigns in Peru and teaching in Thailand.


I don’t take myself too seriously; I’m happy being laughed with or at. I think that’s needed in a game like Survivor.

Hometown: Whangarei
Age: 26
Occupation: Retail Manager

Dylan is the ultimate Survivor super-fan. He co-hosted a dedicated Survivor New Zealand

podcast for the first season. Before Survivor came to New Zealand last year, he applied for US residency to try and get on the American version! When it comes to his ability to source food, Dylan isn’t sure how he will go in the wild, he is too used to living in Auckland, ordering UberEATS and staying in Airbnb’s when on holiday!


I will be an all-round player. I will play strategically, socially and give my all in the physical challenges!

Hometown: Auckland
Age: 28
Occupation: Self Employed

With a larger than life personality, Adam is a self-described ‘sassy guy’, who is not afraid to say what he thinks. A lover of Survivor villains, Adam watched the first season with his brother and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be on season two.  Barb is his favourite castaway from the season one. Survivor New Zealand won’t be the first time Adam has graced television screens, he was a competitor on X Factor Australia in 2013.


I hope I will win Survivor because everyone will see the value in my well-planned long-game strategy.

Hometown: Christchurch
Age: 38
Occupation: School Librarian

Lisa is hoping that her huge love of board games (which includes a weekly game night at her house) will come in handy when it comes to the puzzle challenges. Described by friends as smart and organised, Lisa plans on playing a long strategic game on Survivor New Zealand to get her the title of Sole Survivor. Having never been further afield than Australia, this trip to Thailand will bring a brutal new environment that Lisa has never experienced before.  


To be my genuine self but to also not be scared to vote anyone out.

Hometown: Auckland
Age: 25
Occupation: Rocket Technician

Matt is a real-life rocket man, with a huge love for Survivor and the outdoors. Handing in his resignation to his well-paying job, Matt spent two and a half years backpacking and travelling around the world. During this time he walked the length of Spain, which took him 47 days with only two days rest with his girlfriend, who at the end of the walk it became his fiancé. Having openly admitted he is “no Bear Grylls, but I can fish and crack a coconut”, Matt is hoping his experience travelling the world will help him quickly adapt to the new environment in Thailand.


I will take my time with picking alliances because I don’t want to put a target on my back! My big strategy is to help my tribe by being strong in. 

Hometown: Blenheim
Age: 23
Occupation: Audio Post Producer

Originally from The Netherlands, Josefien moved over to New Zealand with her family when she was young. Growing up on a rural farm in Marlborough, Josefien isn’t afraid of the outdoors or getting dirty when it comes to the challenges. 


I’ve got a good plan: get on with people, never tell anyone what to do (just be a reliable source of information of what others are planning to do), and try and be everyone’s #2. 

Hometown: Ashhurst Manawatu
Age: 32
Occupation: Project Manager

Having openly admitted to wanting to become the second (and top) notable figure on the Ashhurst Wikipedia page, JT is described by friends as a “cantankerous nerd who loves to vacuum.” Instead of training to get ready to take on the ultimate survival game, JT prioritised getting customised hats made rather than learning to make fire like he promised his wife he would ...


I am already a Sole Survivor in real life, and I think I’m more than capable in all aspects of the game making me an all-rounder.

Hometown: Hamilton
Age: 40
Occupation: Full-Time Mum 

Currently living in Auckland, Tara is a proud full-time mum of three children while running a charity that distributes second-hand household items to families in need. A massive adrenaline junkie, Tara has done everything from bungy jumping to driving a car into a moving truck on a race track. Having been independent since her teenage years, Tara likes to be in control, which could be her biggest weakness entering the island.


Survivor should be won by someone that really plays the game, like it is globally – I want to win it that way. I have strengths across all three aspects of the game – social, physical, and strategic.

Hometown: New Plymouth
Age: 28
Occupation: Chartered Accountant

Josh watched season one of Survivor New Zealand while getting radiation treatment for cancer in 2017, it was then he decided he was going to be a castaway for season two. Now in remission, Josh said applying for season two felt like giving cancer a big middle finger. Why should anyone let such a nasty disease control and dictate their life? Josh has made it very clear – he isn’t here for the money, his competitive nature only wants one thing - the title of Sole Survivor.


I have a good balance between treating people with respect and being a good person, but also understanding that you need to ‘play the game’ of Survivor.

Hometown: Nelson
Age: 27
Occupation: School Teacher

Brad loves everything Survivor encompasses; conflict, challenges, being in survival mode and the tough environment. He spent most of his childhood in the outdoors climbing mountains, making rafts to float down rivers, hunting, and doing all things ‘Bear Grylls’.

Being a Secondary School Teacher, Brad is hoping his skills at conflict resolution will help him with any issues that come up within his tribe!


I represent the everyday Kiwi Mum and we are a strong and tenacious breed.

Hometown: Palmerston North
Age: 37
Occupation: Reporter

Karla is excited to represent the Kiwi mums in this season of the show. But don’t underestimate her! Being a reporter by trade Karla knows how to get the truth out of those who might not want to tell it!

Coming from a generation that spent every moment outdoors, Karla hopes all those times her father took her camping as a child, learning to make fires and outlast the torrential rain and flooding, will come in handy when she becomes a castaway.


I’m a pretty straight-up guy, and I’ve got really well-rounded set of skills. I’m going be me and be as genuine as I can and trust in my abilities to get the end.

Hometown: Auckland
Age: 26
Occupation: Clinical Pharmacist

While filming, Dave will turn 26 on the island, but he definitely can’t expect a cake! Dave is extremely competitive with an impressive sporting background including representing Otago in rugby league while at university studying. He’s hoping this will help when it comes to the physical challenges.

When it comes to surviving on the island, Dave is a little worried about mozzie bites, they love him, but the feeling is definitely not mutual


I think I should win Survivor because I will 100% play my own game.

Hometown: Hamilton
Age: 30
Occupation: Dairy Farmer

With a family and two young children back home in Hamilton supporting him, Arun is excited to take on Survivor New Zealand. Working on the family farm he grew up on in the Waikato, Arun is proud to be 3rd generation dairy farmer and is hoping the manual labour he completes on the farm will help him out in the physical challenges.


I am the epitome of 'don’t judge a book by its cover'. I am a complete fish out of water in this environment, but I’m still throwing myself out there.

Hometown: Auckland
Age: 24
Occupation: Journalist

Franky is out to prove you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Referring to judgemental people as “battlers” Franky said she’s already faced one of her biggest fears, allowing other people to base their opinion of her from the internet when she entered and won the public’s vote as the ZM Wildcard.


I have everything a Sole Survivor encompasses: drive, passion, competitiveness and the social, physical and mental game.

Hometown: Shannon, Horowhenua
Age: 24
Occupation: Social Worker

Kaysha is The Hits Wildcard feisty winner. She’s the eldest of 10 children so knows how to defend what belongs to her – the dinner table was “war”. With a strong fitness background including representative basketball, athletics and cross country something which will come in handy during the challenges. The only thing that will hold her back is her phobia of spiders and big bugs on the island.


I’m going to push myself to my absolute limit and hopefully outwit, outplay and outlast all the other castaways!

Hometown: Auckland
Age: 28
Occupation: Real Estate Agent

With an occupation that is all about telling people what they want or need to hear, Renee is hoping this will help her with the social aspect of Survivor New Zealand. From watching past seasons of Survivor, her favourite parts are the challenges, so Renee can’t wait to get stuck in herself and prove how tough she is. In the outside world, Renee also competes in cross-fit competitions. 

Come back each day this week to see who else will be trying to outwit, outlast and outplay their way to the top.

Hosted once again by Matt Chisholm, Survivor NZ: Thailand starts Sunday, April 22 at 7pm on TVNZ 2.