1) Where are the best places to live? Auckland. South of Auckland in particular. The north is not far away. To the south everything is in touching distance at most 8 hours. Of course the city itself. But awesome beaches to the east and west within 30 minutes.
2) Places to avoid living? Haven't really found any!
3) What are the good bits about living in New Zealand? Having the opportunity for our 8 and half year old son to grow up in a really safe place and for him to experience life as it should be done. People, weather, pace of life, outdoor living, fishing with the opportunity to own a boat.
4) What are the bad bits about living in New Zealand? I'm biased but I don't think there are any. We are going to sponsor my Mom and Dad (who are now on the South Island at the Franz Joseph Glacier), to stay permanently, in just over two years time so missing family isn't a problem. But the wife does miss a bloody hot curry.
We'll never go back as Britain is done for. In reality even if Britain wasn't done for we'd still rather live here.
Anymore questions just ask. P.S. You are doing the right thing although sometimes it feels daunting it all works out.