Manu Vatuvei wins Dancing With The Stars NZ 2019

Former Warriors star Manu Vatuvei has taken out the win on Dancing With The Stars NZ 2019.

Vatuvei faced off against comedian Laura Daniel in the Grand Final on Sunday night, after 12 weeks of hot competition.

Unlike the bulk of the competition, where viewer votes combined with the judges' scores to decide the bottom two each week, the champion was chosen solely by viewers' text votes.

After a stunning tango and freestyle performance on Sunday, Vatuvei and professional dance partner Loryn lifted the coveted mirrorball trophy.

Vatuvei was repeatedly praised for showing his emotions and vulnerability during the show.

He even choreographed his final showdance himself, which earned his first perfect 30 score in the competition.

Finally his hard work came to a head in the last moments of the grand final, with a bucket-load of shiny gold confetti dumped over the stage as he was announced the winner and presented with the glitterball trophy.

"I've loved this journey," Vatuvei said, thanking his "beautiful" partner Loryn.

"Even at my lowest, she's always been there to keep me up."

Judge Julz Tocker has consistently praised Vatuvei for not being afraid to show his emotions, including a heartwarming moment when he was in the bottom two with Glen Osbourne and the two held hands.

In a post-win press conference, Vatuvei reiterated it was something that didn't come easy to him.

"I get anxious when I show a bit of emotion, I always want to be that tough guy not scared of anything," he told media.

"It's definitely something I never knew I'd ever do [be vulnerable], I never knew that side of me would come out, especially on television."

He heaped praise upon partner Loryn, saying they had a connection with each other and it would be "awesome" to dance with her again.

"She's the one who showed me the true meaning of dancing."

As for where that supremely sparkly trophy will go?

"I'll put it in front of all my other ones - it's the front one now!" he joked.

Comedian Laura Daniel came second in the competition, followed by The Edge host Clinton Randell in third and social media star William Waiirua in fourth place.

Dancing With The Stars NZ is produced by MediaWorks, which also owns Newshub.