I have spent close to two years in New Zealand and love the place. I go back every year or so. Who do I rate as the best and most assessable poet in the shaky isles? Clearly Sam Hunt! He stands head & shoulders above everyone else. He is a poet’s poet. He has criss-crossed the land for over forty years, performing his work, living off his wits & as Robbie Burton, his publisher aptly says, ‘always championing the poem as a living breathing thing’.
Knucklebones is the best place to start. It collects his poetry from 1962-2012. Find it here: http://www.samhunt.co.nz/books.html
Also worth considering is sam hunt backroads: charting a poet’s life. This is a beautifully produced book which focuses on his struggle in his 20s & 30s to become a professional poet. It integrates his recollections of the events & personalities, photographs and includes reprints of some of his important early poems. I recently picked up a discounted copy of the book in Opotiki.