I'm still in New Zealand and have done my share of tasting the local brews and wines. So much so, I haven't had a whiskey of any kind in over two weeks. I'm sad to report that New Zealand's reputation for producing solid but mostly uninteresting beer is well deserved. Many of them seem to have too much sugar (added caramel is the culprit often speculated by beer nerds) ......... almost becoming unbalanced is some cases. But there are a couple I can recommend if you can find them.
Mac's Sassy Red is a vary unique beer. Almost a cross of an APA and an English bitter. Their promotional material says they add "buckets" of NZ Saaz hops at various stages of the brewing cycle. Copper red in color, rich and a nice hoppy finish. And the coolest beer bottle and bottle-top I've seen. This has been my favorite by far and at 4.6% alcohol you can have a few.
Mac's Black is also a nice attempt at making a black beer. Its a lager and uses fuggle hops. A little stronger at 5%, but its hard for me to drink more than one black lager anyway.
Don't know how into craft beer you are but maybe this link will help you in your search for good beer...maybe you've already looked at it...a map of all craft beer goings on in NZ: