Filming for The Block NZ, TV3's biggest ever reality show, is underway in Auckland.

Four teams of DIYers are battling it out for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes.

The couples have to renovate four run-down houses in the upmarket suburb of Takapuna, and sell them at auction.

Yesterday, film crews gathered at Anzac St with host Mark Richardson and reality TV queen Julie Christie.


The houses were "horrendous" before renovations got underway, according to one neighbour.

The four couples will oversee every aspect of the home renovations, doing the easy parts themselves and calling in tradesmen for the rest.

The houses will be auctioned on the final show, with every dollar above the reserve price being kept by the couple.

"The challenge is that they have a limited budget," a TV3 spokeswoman said.

"They also have to live in the house all the way through."

The couples have to compete weekly tasks, under the scrutiny of judges Victoria Bidwell, a real estate agent from Bayleys, and designer Stewart Harris,.

The show, produced by Eyeworks Television, will screen on TV3 later this year and has been a runaway success in Australia.

Richardson, from The Crowd Goes Wild, will be joined on hosting duties by Shannon Ryan, a NZ's Next Top Model presenter.