It was a rough night for most teams on The Block NZ - but contestants Ling and Zing possibly received the worst deal of all.

The live auction finale of the reality show's sixth season turned in awkward television at its finest as Stace and Yanita were thought to be the winners until a u-turn by producers saw Nate and Andy's unsold home return for a second auction.

Stace and Yanita scored $20,000 in profit, but Nate and Andy secured $31,000 and were declared winners of the show's $100,000 prize.

While the focus was on Stace and Yanita's misery, and Nate and Andy's "bittersweet" victory, another Block team stood back in the shadows and counted what the show probably cost them.

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The show sees four teams of two spend three months renovating neighbouring Auckland properties, with each team pocketing the profits they make over their home's reserve price during a live auction finale.

For Christchurch brothers Ling and Zing, their $1000 profit makes them the second lowest winners in Block history - just over Rachel and Tyson in season one, who sold their house bang on reserve and failed to make any profit.

Zing and Ling's profits were so low that one "disgruntled viewer" set up a Givealittle page for the pair to "help them raise funds for the reward they deserve".

So far, 204 donors have pledged $5041, four times what the pair earned at last night's finale.

But there's more bad news in store for Ling and Zing.

One twitter user added up the time it took them to appear on The Block NZ and calculated their hourly rate.

It is jaw droppingly low - just $0.48c an hour between them.

To make matters worse, Block contestants regularly work over and above eight hours a day to meet the show's strict deadlines, so the figure could be even lower.

The show's host Mark Richardson defended this year's low profits, saying there was never a guarantee that contestants would take home huge sums of money.

"All we promise is that the winners of The Block make $100,000. We don't say come on The Block and you will make a fortune. You are at the mercy of the property market and that auction room. That's all," he told The AM Show the morning after the shock auction result.

"We're not a charity. We're a reality TV show and we say 'come on here, here's a house ... we'll set the reserves below market valuation and hopefully you'll walk away with the grand prize'."

They're not the only ones to face low winnings for three months of round-the-clock work.

Season two couple Loz and Tom complained to Fairfax: "To be honest we didn't win the cash we hoped to ... We did a great job and that's why we are really perplexed."

Read more:

Surprise second auction nets win for Andy and Nate

Social media lashes out at two attempts to sell winning Block house

The Block NZ 'reflects market': REINZ boss unsurprised by result

The Block villain Julia speaks out on being stood down from the show

Why The Block's mystery bidder is causing a stir