Sam Hayes wins Dancing With The Stars NZ

Newshub presenter Samantha Hayes has been crowned the 2018 winner of Dancing With The Stars NZ.

She beat fellow finalists Jess Quinn, Chris Harris and Shavaughn Ruakere in the grand final, claiming victory after the public gave her more votes than the other competitors.

"I honestly can't believe it - have you double-checked those numbers?" laughed Sam as she accepted the glitter ball trophy.

"Everyone here has done it to raise money for charity, so you guys are all heroes. For our charity, NZ Riding for The Disabled, we just love them and they will be ecstatic about this."

The journalist and her professional dance partner, Aaron, have been hot favourites since the first episode, when they scored 22 out of 30 points with their foxtrot to 'Stay'.

In week eight, the pair earned the first 10s of the competition, landing 29 out of 30 points for a contemporary dance to Maroon 5's 'Cold'.

Sam and Aaron scored 58 out of 60 for their two last performances in the grand final.

At a press conference following her win, Sam said a big help in improving her performances was actress and filmmaker Madeleine Sami, who delivered some "tough home truths".

"She basically said, 'What you're doing isn't enough. You need to do a whole lot more'. When you're already doing everything you can do, that's a really scary place to stand," said Sam.

"When things happen during the news, when we go off-script for breaking news, my job is to keep calm, be still and keep it together. So whenever I'm under stress, that's what I do... but I had to learn to do the opposite of that. 

"It was so hard to be that vulnerable on television, when I've spent my whole career trying to keep it together."

This year's 12 original competitors were reality TV stars Naz Khanjani, Zac Franich and Gilda Kirkpatrick, broadcasters Suzy Cato, Shavaughn Ruakere, Sam Hayes, Robbie Rakete and Roger Farrelly, politicians David Seymour and Marama Fox, Instagram star Jess Quinn and former cricketer Chris Harris.