New Zealand is a country that is quite a long way away from the rest of the world and therefore we are used to a cost of living that is not as low as Asia, but not as high as developed countries in Europe. In New Zealand, most people are focused on a work/life balance and the salaries here do not compare to salaries in Australia, England or the USA.
What makes New Zealand so unique is that it is a safe, relaxed and clean country. It really is one of the best environments in the world in which to bring up a family or have a life out of work. We all enjoy the rivers, lakes, mountains, native bush, beaches, parks, cafes, restaurants, bars here in New Zealand, and the best thing about this is that they are accesible to us all.
The inflation rate in New Zealand is low (around 2.4 per cent in 2004), and the government is committed to maintaining it at around this rate (or lower). Prices of many imported goods have fallen in real terms in recent years, particularly cars and electrical appliances. In general, New Zealanders enjoy a high standard of living, although salaries are lower than in Australia, North America and many European countries.
When talking about the cost of living in New Zealand, it's difficult to provide an "average" cost, as it varies depending on where you live, as well as your lifestyle. If you live in Wellington or Auckland, you own two vehicles and you like to dine out a few times a week, your cost of living will be much higher than if you live in the country, drive a small car and watch your weekly spend at the supermarket.
Total $310 - $670 / week
Try this cost of living calculator http://www.enz.org/cost-of-living-in-new-zealand.html
A great overview of the cost of living in New Zealand http://www.nz-immigration.co.nz/cost-of-living/index.html