On my second day in Christchurch, I was at Westfield Mall (on Riccarton Road) and passed a Vodafon NZ shop. The staff asked if I needed any help and I explained my needs (here for a few days. Need internet access).
He sold me on a pre-paid SIM card (phone not included) plan that included 500 mb of data, free SMS (within NZ), and some talk time. All for NZD 30.
500 mb of internet access sounded sufficient for 10 days in NZ. The rest was optional and not a main issue. So I took up the offer.
And he did all the necessary.
I offered my Nokia smartphone for the installation of the SIM card, but somehow it could not install. The Vodafon staff said perhaps my phone was locked. But I had gotten it without a contract and from a Nokia shop in SG, so it could not be a locked phone.
But not to argue, I then offered my iPhone 3GS.
I was quite happy with the connection, I was able to Whatsapp, check FaceBook, and provide a hotspot for PL’s and my other devices. Except for my Nokia. I do not know why.
My only complain was that Vodafon NZ’s coverage is not very good. In Grey Mouth, I did not have 3G connection. Only 2G.
In many places, coverage was sparse or poor.
So you may want to see if Telecoms NZ has better coverage.
But if you are on a budget and don’t absolutely need to be contactable at ALL times, the Vodafon NZ option was a cost-effective solution. For me anyway.