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New Zealand Coffee Houses... and definitions of NZ coffees?

Try Bambina, Dizengoff , Santos or One2one (121) in Ponsonby Rd. In K Rd, Alleyuya (St Kevins arcade) is good. Get the table at the far end looking out to the park and city.

eating well on a budget thru NZ

That's a lot to cover in 3 weeks. Good luck..
In Arrowtown, definitely go to "The Blue Door " wine bar and have a glass of Central Otago Pinot Noir. You can order a pizza from across the lane and they'll deliver it to the Blue Door for you. At the end of the same lane is Dorothy Brown's boutique cinema. Take your wine and pizza into the movie. The lane is off the main street, no sign on the Blue Door, but it's blue, of course. Ask anyone, they'll know where it is.
Not sure why you want to go to Omarama or Greymouth.
Queenstown and Wanaka are very beautiful. Food is generally overpriced and rather mediocre (rents are extremely high as they are tourist towns). In Queenstown, try "The Cow". There is an excellent gourmet hamburger place near the ASB Bank. Also a cafe called Vudu and another called Joe's Garage for good coffee and cafe type casual meals.

eating well on a budget thru NZ

I agree with the green lipped mussel suggestion. Belgian Beer cafe in the Old Ponsonby Post Office (Auckland) does them brilliantly and cheap. Also the fish and chip shop in Mangonui (east of Kerikeri) is worth a visit. Mangonui is a very pretty town. Also in Northland, Whangarei has a fantastic farmers market on Saturday mornings (early). Worth it if you're passing through at that time but there is nothing else to go to Whangarei for.

In the South Island, if you're driving, stop in Kaikoura and go to the caravan near the seal colony (off the main highway, through the township about 3km) for fresh crayfish cooked on the spot and other great seafood. Cheap as ...
For a splurge, go to the restaurant "Fleur's Place" at Moeraki (on the east coast between Oamaru and Dunedin). If you Google them you should be able to find more info about the restaurant. Its amazing, and in the middle of nowhere.
Some pubs have good cheap food, Monteith's on the Octagon in Dunedin is one.

Forget the foodcourts. They may be good value for money but the atmosphere is terrible and they don't serve kiwi food.

All the cities have some excellent cafes ( and some not). Try Bambina and Dizengoff on Ponsonby Rd in Auckland - both daytime only. In Wellington the best and cheapest tend to be in Cuba Street. Try Fidel's (a grungy student haunt but don't let that put you off, the atmosphere is great) or slightly more upmarket Ernestos. Matterhorn (more expensive) is a nice place to go for an evening meal.

Have a good trip.