I don't really think it's appropriate for me to discuss his personal stuff. He can, if he wants, and if he finds his way back here. However, I would say that when it comes to our children, there is a lot of love and they're all well cared for. That's the main thing.
North - about 2hrs Nth of Auckland. Whangarei, it's the trailer park of NZ. Great beaches and native bush and all that lovely stuff, but mind your cameras, anything not nailed down gets stolen. The locals are a bit feral and usually high. Also, really big spiders and wetas (think giant fanged cricket). If that doesn't put you off and we're still here when you come over, you're welcome to stay with us. Did you have a specific theme/genre/objective for your photography? I may be able to give you pointers on where to go.
I'm going to try to cover several different topics from environmental portraits (landscapes) of areas that are not well known outside NZ, to people portraits and cultural journalism. So, anything you know about those things and how to access them without being an enviro-terrorist would be helpful.
Also, my nephew was born in Christchurch, so I'd like to take him back to NZ to see where he was born.
I'm not too worried about scary arthropods. You should see my ex-wife.
NZ is pretty touristy, so if you're looking for something a bit different you'll probably have to get your hiking boots on. The most amazing landscapes to photograph have unfortunately become tourist traps (e.g. the sounds, Bay of Islands). But I can give you some pointers. Generally speaking, the South Island is less populated and has more opportunity for finding large areas that haven't been photographed to death. Stewart Island is largely overlooked. The boat road over is a bit rough but worth it if you want awesome nature stuff. The west coast of the Sth Island has a rough and rugged beauty. The east coast has nice wildlife, but make sure you use up to date maps as it took a pounding a few years back (earthquakes) and road access has become unreliable. If you want Maori culture, volcanoes and thermal activity, and the most gorgeous beaches, then the North Island is a good option. Again, tourist traps. Many of the Iwi (Maori Tribes) have made it their main income to give tourists a song and dance and largely fake experience. Real Maori culture and lifestyle is more likely found in the far North (it's a bit grim and poverty-ridden unfortunatelly). I think the link below will be a good starting point. DOC conrol access to public lands. Sometimes you need a pass. Sometimes you just can't go there but, if so, it's generally well signposted. We're having a problem with Kauri die back at the moment so a lot of areas are fenced off to stop people from spreading disease to the remaining trees. When I was looking for cool places to go I looked at the campsites to see whether they were accessible by boat only, or how basic they were (ones with no hot water and longdrops are less touristy and better, if you don't mind cold showers and shitting in a hole - that's the price to pay if you want photos that haven't already been done to death). So, I'd start here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-r...n/places-to-go/
Do your research on walking tracks, as this is the best way to get to the remote beaches and stuff. Generally, they take you over public land, but if they do take you over some farmer's property, then this is an accepted practice and you won't get in trouble. Shooting people in NZ is still frowned upon, so you'll be fine
Also, tip for international travellers who get out and about, wash your footwear before you enter NZ. Customs will ask if you have dirt on your hiking boots and, if you do, they may confiscate them, which is hugely inconvenient. And if you smoke, stock up before you come over here as smoking here is hugely expensive ($95 for a shitty little pouch of jailhouse tobacco - $30 for a pack of cigs).
I had anxiety attacks for the first six months as it was the first time in my adult life I was unarmed. Other than that, it wasn't much different than moving to a new state, And learning to drive on the left hand side of the road.