Cool, you planning a holiday then? Its definitely a place you should at least visit once if you are able to. And you already know a couple of people here who may be able to show you a few sites.
i went to New Zealand and Australia last year and absoultley fell in love with it. but there is only a posibility i will be coming over because i have exams next year (stupid examboard)
i also have family out there too, they live in Wellington