Zoo's may be everywhere, but the Wellington Zoo and it's animal encounters is an especially friendly and pleasant experience.  You can eat "real" food at it's cafe while observing the Meerkats behind thier windowed exhibit.  Nothing like having a Latte and lunch while watching the antics of these amusing criters.  Keepers seem readily available to answer questions and add to your viewing experience.  It's a zoo with heart.

Another great place is the Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua.  Take the encounter tour for "behind the scenes" information about the endangered Kiwi.  The shop is great too!

Here are some links to information sites about wildlife parks & zoos

Zoos & Wildlife Parks & Acquariums 

NZ Zoos & Wildlife Parks