Duckor-Jones won $100,000 – and the title of Sole Survivor – after overcoming almost seven challenging weeks in the Nicaraguan jungle.
The Wellington overseas educator beat 16 other contestants to the prize.
“I am so incredibly excited and honoured to be the first ever New Zealand Sole Survivor,” he said. “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 31-year-old relied heavily on a ‘social’ gameplan, so to speak, by building alliances and trust with his fellow contestants.
When asked how he prepared for the reality television show, Duckor-Jones replied: “Nothing. I didn’t have time. I was leading back-to-back trips in the months leading up to it. My last trip, that ended the day before I flew to Nicaragua, was in Ireland.
“I was teaching creative writing with National Geographic. So I guess I just ate a lot of lamb shanks and potatoes. In saying that, I was very well prepared to go into a group situation as a listener, leader, and facilitator.”
Fellow finalist Tom Paterson added: “Avi and I had a long journey together. In the end, I was beaten by a good friend that I respect and that’s a humbling feeling. At least I know there will always be a free beer for me in the Wairarapa.”
Survivor New Zealand drew an average of 144,000 viewers – and TVNZ director of content Cate Slater has said it has “not been confirmed” whether or not a second season will happen.