MAFS fans praise New Zealand version after noticing big difference

Viewers have said the series is much better than the Australian version.

Relationship expert John Aiken with the MAFS NZ cast.
Fans are loving the new season of MAFS NZ. Photos: Instagram/threenewzealand

Married At First Sight fans have declared the latest season of the New Zealand series to be the best version of the reality TV franchise they’ve ever seen. Following a five-year hiatus, MAFS NZ returned with a brand new season earlier this month which is streaming free for Aussie viewers on 9Now.

Australian reality TV icon John Aiken is one of the show’s two relationship experts alongside sex therapist Jo Robertson. However, unlike the Australian version, there are only ten brides and grooms who have entered the experiment.


One fan took to Reddit this week to proclaim that having watched the Australian, US and UK versions of MAFS, the New Zealand series is definitely their favourite.

“I like the fact that there are far fewer couples, there's more time for them on the couch,” they explained. “I also really like most of the personalities. It's the first show where I've felt that they are all there for love.”

Others agreed that the NZ series has hit the right note, adding: “I feel like they want to find love and true connections whereas the Aus version is for drama and to expose themselves and not for the right reasons, influencers, OnlyFans etc.”

“I’m enjoying it too,” another shared. “The drama on the last AU season was soo repetitive. I asked myself why I’m dedicating several hours a week to watch people scream at each other over the same things.”

“I liked the fact they actually get decent talks and one-on-one time with actually constructive feedback,” someone else shared, while a different user replied, “Me too. Not so rushed with less people”.

Meanwhile, one person responded by saying they “definitely disagree” with the other viewers and think having fewer participants is a “detriment”.

“[The cast] are all so bland. I've watched every season of UK and AUS (but admittedly not US) and this lot are like watching paint dry,” they wrote. “The incredibly low budget doesn't help which probably restricts the number of couples. You can evidence this in how cheap the weddings were (no guests etc) and how short their honeymoons were (a few days if I have added it up correctly).”

MAFS NZ experts John Aiken and Jo Robertson.
John Aiken is a relationship expert on MAFS NZ alongside sex therapist Jo Robertson. Photo: Instagram/johnaikenlive

In a statement from Nine last month, John said he feels connected to New Zealand and its “diverse population” as he spent plenty of time growing up in the country. He has also been happily married to his Kiwi wife Kelly Swanson-Roe, a former TV3 and Prime News presenter, for 17 years.

“I’m excited to be a part of the fresh relaunch of MAFS NZ. After being involved for over a decade with the Australian version, I can now bring all of my lessons and insights to Kiwi singles looking for love,” he shared.

MAFS NZ will have the similar mix of drama, love and relationship learning that the audience loves. I think those who tune in will really invest in the couples and watch with interest how they navigate all the challenges.”


John certainly isn’t the first Australian MAFS expert to appear on another franchise, with Mel Schilling joining the UK version in 2021.

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