The 6061 Aluminium frame is OK. The forks are a bit cheep. Shimano 24 speedis fine. This will give better foul weather performance than a 27 speed, since the gearing is more robust. However, the lack of those 3 gears might be a problem given the size of mountians in New Zealand. The good news is that you can upgrade this.
The mechanical discs are a bit naff. I would probably look for either sticking with V brakes or uptrading to Hydraulics asasp. I am also not a fan of Kenda tyres. Slow rolling speed. The wheels are not great either.
Anyway, enough slagging of not top end components. For a starter bike, it is OK. It will be fine, although the forks may struggle. The danger that you may face is that, as you get more into the sport, you outstrip the performance that the bike can offer.
I am not sure what the exchange rate is, but would spend about £500 UK. I know that bikes are more expensive in NZ and Auz. However, you might find that you get on better with a Giant, Trek (Although the set up tends to be a bit padestrian for me) Scott or Mongoos.
Go to this site and read some of the bike reviews:
Also have a look at this site (primarily for its rating system. This should give you a viable idea of what is out there: