Are The Block's teams unfair?

The Block NZ 2016 teams, "Girls vs Boys."
The Block NZ 2016 teams, "Girls vs Boys."

The fifth season of The Block is being billed as "Girls vs Boys" but you have to wonder if the title should really be "Builders vs The Rest".

Because one pair of the four are Mt Maunganui mates Dylan Cossey and Dylan Guitink - or Dyls and Dylz - who, as well as being mates, are a qualified builder and his apprentice.

Sure, they may not have any taste in interior design and being tradies, they may not turn up until a week into the season because they had another job on. But Team Dyls-Dylz is sure to be an early favourite as the duos take on the rebuild of four 80s townhouses in Meadowbank.

The other boys' team is Wellington flatmates Sam Cable and Emmett Vallender, who will be bringing their white collar skills as a business development manager and HR advisor to the competition.

The "girls" teams both hail from the South Island, though former Wanaka resident Tiffany Mair has a career in Melbourne as a television set dresser.

She joins Niki Osborne, who is a Christchurch-based forensic research scientist with a PhD (She'll be the one in the white overalls, booties and mask with a delicate brush technique).

The other all-female team are Dunedin-ites Emma Diamond and Courtney MacKay, who have a background in admin and work in an interior design business between them.

Yes, the four houses are more or less the same as they were in the first season in 2012. But their relatively recent vintage isn't going to make the renovation job any easier, says site foreman Peter Wolfkamp

"These houses are not from the golden age of New Zealand building practice. This year we face a huge challenge to rectify these homes, and we have also decided to create homes that are more sustainable, more energy-efficient and more complex than anything we have attempted before."

Host Shelley Ferguson says the show's move into townhouses reflects the reality of the market.

"Because of rising house prices, many New Zealanders have had to ditch the quarter-acre dream and explore alternative housing options.

"I'm hoping the teams will embrace this year's urban townhouse development, and show what creativity and good design can achieve with spaces of any size."

The Block NZ: The winners' prices

• 2012 Takapuna: $961,000, $157,000 above reserve
• 2013 Belmont: $1.126 million, $181,000 above reserve
• 2014 Pt chevalier: $1,552,000, $227,000 above reserve
• 2015 Sandringham: $1.35 million, $190,000 above reserve

Tune in

When: Sundays at 7pm and Monday to Wednesday at 7:30pm
Where: TV3
What: Season five

- TimeOut

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