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08 June 2023

Outrage over New Zealand 'Win a Wife' contest

Picture used for illustrative purposes only. (GETTY IMAGES)

By Agency

A radio competition, in which the winner will fly to Ukraine and be given the chance to pick a bride from an agency, sparked outrage in New Zealand Wednesday.

The winner of the contest - launched by MediaWork's station The Rock, which is broadcast nationwide - will also get 12 nights' accommodation and NZ$2,000 (US$1,500) spending money.

On its website the company acknowledges that some people will get "their panties in a twist over this one" - and they have, with social activist Sue Bradford saying the contest "takes commercial radio to new depths."

"It is unusual and somewhat disturbing that a commercial entity would commercialize what should be one of the most meaningful human relationships and actually offer it as a prize for a radio show," she said.

The promotion began on Monday and ends on February 28, with five finalists to be subjected to character assessment from friends and family, and psychometric testing and suitability for marriage testing by a psychologist appointed by MediaWorks.

The prize does not include travel for the Ukraine woman to come to New Zealand.

The Rock program director, Brad King told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) the competition was "a bit of a laugh."

"At the end of the day, it's up to both people if they decide to get married and return to New Zealand. We're not actually marrying anyone or bringing women back to New Zealand," he said.