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Married at First Sight NZ returns on May 26 (Photos: Three / Design: Tina Tiller)
Married at First Sight NZ returns on May 26 (Photos: Three / Design: Tina Tiller)

Pop CultureMay 5, 2024

Meet the cast of Married at First Sight NZ for 2024

Married at First Sight NZ returns on May 26 (Photos: Three / Design: Tina Tiller)
Married at First Sight NZ returns on May 26 (Photos: Three / Design: Tina Tiller)

Ahead of the reality franchise’s return to New Zealand, allow us to introduce the eight brides and grooms. 

Chuck on a veil and tie back your man bun, because it’s time to say “I do” to a new season of Married at First Sight NZ. The reality TV “social experiment” returns at the end of this month after a five-year hiatus, with eight more single New Zealanders about to marry a complete stranger in the hope of finding everlasting love. 

Along with some awkward introductions and nerve-wracking weddings, the new season also features MAFS Australia expert John Aiken, who will guide the emotional newlyweds through the minefield of instant marriage. “I can say the cast is very relatable, and the relationship problems are very universal,” Aiken told The Spinoff earlier this year, although he hinted that the New Zealand group dynamic was a little different. “They were more unified and less combative as a group than the Australians and really wanted each other to get over the line.”

Jo Robertson and John Aiken (Photo: Three)

Aiken is joined by Jo Robertson, a relationship and sex therapist with expertise in female sexuality and relationship crises. Together, they’ll carefully match and support the brides and grooms as they meet for the first time at the altar, marry and move in together. The upcoming season features an unusually small cohort of singles, but will love still blossom? From pressure comes diamonds, and from tense commitment ceremonies comes a lot of compelling television.

Let’s meet the brave singles who are about to marry a complete stranger in front of the entire nation. 

Madeleine (37, Tauranga)

Madeleine (Photo: Three)

Hold onto your golden eggs Aotearoa, because it seems Madeleine – a trained “healing intuitive” – could be New Zealand’s very own Lucinda Light. “Proudly embracing her true self, Madeleine would love a connection that transcends the ordinary,” the MAFS NZ official bio tells us, adding that Madeleine is into energy flows and uses her Reiki training to heal, clear, and energise the body. Look, if we don’t see Madeleine turn into a sparkling disco ball by the end of the season, then what even is love?  

Stephanie (31, Auckland)

Stephanie (Photo: Three)

Stephanie has suffered from a “love drought” for the last eight years, which is only slightly longer than the “MAFS NZ drought” between seasons two and three. Coincidence? I don’t think so. This hopeless romantic wants to be matched with someone who has “aligned future-focused goals and deep emotional intellect”, which is exactly how I describe the period tracker app on my phone. Fingers crossed the lovely Stephanie’s marriage to a stranger lasts a lot longer than my luteal phase. 

Kara (33, Christchurch)

Kara (Photo: Three)

Our Christchurch bride is over six feet tall, and jokes that she’s dated every tall man in her region. How many tall men are there in Canterbury? Not enough, obviously. Kara describes herself as a homebody, and she’s looking for someone with a strong personality who can take the lead, but who also is kind, funny – and tall. Can MAFS NZ find Kara the man of her dreams? Here’s hoping they can-can-Canterbury!

Samantha (26, Auckland)

Samantha (Photo: Three)

Content creator Samantha is mum to a young son, and is described as kind, compassionate and fun to be around. She’s looking for a partner who’ll be a positive role model for her child, but so far, those pesky dating apps have not helped her find a genuine connection. What does John Aiken know that the dating apps don’t? We’re about to find out. 

Michael (36, Auckland)

Michael (Photo: Three)

If that beard looks familiar, it’s because it’s attached to the face of Michael, who came third in The Apprentice Aotearoa in 2021. Michael’s bio is impressive, noting his “vibrant energy and fearless voice” and his “striking appearance, meticulously straightened beard and striking body tattoos”. The certified breathwork facilitator, life transformation specialist and fierce MMA competitor is on a “relentless quest for self-improvement”, and his last relationship ended when his fear of commitment became “too great a barrier”. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that he and his beard are about to “marry a complete stranger”. Good luck one and all. 

James (31, Christchurch)

James (Photo: Three)

Like Kara, James hails from Christchurch, but sadly his official bio does not tell us how tall he is. It does reveal that the primary teacher moved from the UK to Aotearoa to play cricket, and has since made New Zealand home. James is an only child, and wants a bride who can be his best friend, but who also has her own friends. Are we getting mixed signals here? Who cares! James has “mastered daily meditation” so if there are any problems in the relationship, a bit of quiet time on a cushion should sort everything out.  

Piripi (28, Hamilton)

Piripi (Photo: Three)

This father of two is ready to settle down and make a serious commitment, and he’s looking for a partner who is a good communicator. He loves keeping fit, and hopes his wife will love hiking and walking. Nature! It’s the ultimate aphrodisiac. After all, when has someone tried to divorce a tree? Almost never.  

Nathaniel (30, Wellington)

Nathaniel (Photo: Three)

Relaxed and easy-going Nathaniel moved from Nigeria to New Zealand in his teens, and is ready to find “the one”. The aviation officer and personal trainer says he’s an adrenaline junkie, and wants a partner who is positive and fun. As for his turn-offs in a partner include “gossiping about others”. Uh-oh. Has Nathaniel ever seen Married at First Sight? I’m sure everything will be fine. 

Married at First Sight NZ premieres on Sunday 26 May on Three at 7pm and streams on ThreeNow.

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