Rites of Passage: New Zealand Survivor


"Please release the vice-like grip that holds back the waters of the log flume ride" (repeat for eternity)

“Please release the vice-like grip that holds back the waters of the log flume ride” (repeat for eternity)

Survivor: Nicaragua begins tomorrow and I’m already laughing, because why do we think, in this country, that we have to go to “Nicaragua” to survive something?

It’s a bit old-hat now that we have a housing and poverty crisis here in our first-world cities, and those of us who are at the opposite end of that continuum spend an inordinate amount of money on survival-style boot camps and weird diets that now involve artisanal bugs from Farro.

Why did the producers not just hold it in New Zealand? It’s a no-brainer. The challenges could have included:

  • An endurance challenge on the log flume ride at Rainbow’s End. The challenge is to try, individually, to stop the log flume around about just after the entrance-way through the waterfall. I’ve done this; everyone has. You then need to see how long you can last holding your log there, while enduring the vocal-fry of the angered staff member telling you to let go.
  • Shopping at Countdown the day before a public holiday, using only the self-scanners. You need to factor in how much alcohol needs to be drunk over the 24-hour period that you will not have access to Countdown. The winner is the person who is still drinking at 9am on the actual public holiday, and still has enough piss to see them through to the family movie, Over The Hedge, at 7pm.
  • A morning school-run challenge. Cars to choose from are a really large Audi, an MX-5, some kind of double-cab utility and a normal sedan. Who will win?
  • A food challenge. Teams have to eat native bugs selected by Ray McVinnie, and while eating them, Ray will, in his best voice, talk you through the whole thing. The aim of the challenge is to make Ray stop.
  • Listening to a two-hour loop of Mike’s Minute.
  • Find the available rental property! On foot, using the Trade Me mobile app.
  • Collect the most oil-column heaters from Auckland berms.

So many options! Sponsors could be Jetstar, The Property Press and My Food Bag.

And the grand prize? Why, $200,000, to put “as a deposit on a house”, the only possible choice for prize expenditure in New Zealand.

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