Avi Max Duckor-Jones has become the first winner of Survivor New Zealand - and he could scarcely believe it.

After weeks spent living with strangers in the Nicaraguan jungle, Avi's win was announced at Wednesday night's live final of the TVNZ 2 reality show.

The Wellington overseas educator won $100,000 and the title of Sole Survivor.

Avi reacts as he wins Survivor NZ with Tom and Barb by his side. Photo/Getty
Avi reacts as he wins Survivor NZ with Tom and Barb by his side. Photo/Getty

Avi won the prize over 16 other contestants on the first New Zealand season of the reality franchise. The series has run for 34 seasons in America, and in many other countries.

Advertisement

"I am so incredibly excited and honoured to be the first ever New Zealand Sole Survivor," he said after clearing his eyes of tears.

"This entire experience has been a dream realised, and I am so grateful to have been able to participate.

"Thank you to everyone who has been watching and rooting for me, and a huge thank you to my tribe mates who made this the amazing experience that it was."

The final episode of Survivor NZ saw the members of the tribal council, who had all been eliminated from Casar tribe, deliver their verdicts on the remaining contestants.

The final three contestants also had the opportunity to make their case to the jury on why they deserved to be the winner, and respond to the jury's points.

Many on the jury had choice words for Barb and intense questions for Tom and Avi.

Avi wipes tears from his face as he takes out the title of Survivor NZ. Photo/Getty
Avi wipes tears from his face as he takes out the title of Survivor NZ. Photo/Getty

Avi was one of the strongest competitors, but had a focus on playing a social game - building alliances and trust with his fellow contestants.

Avi won against Tom in the final immunity challenge, which saw Tom faint after three hours balancing a vase.

Survivor New Zealand pulled an average of 144,000 viewers (aged 25-54) per episode after it premiered to 172,000.

TVNZ director of content Cate Slater says it has "not been confirmed" if there will be a second season of the reality show.