You do not need a visitor visa if you are stopping off at a New Zealand airport on your way to another country, staying in New Zealand for less than 24 hours, and not leaving the transit area of the airport.
However, you may require a Transit Visa.
Holders of Transit Visas may not remain in New Zealand for more than 24 hours or leave the airport.
People who make a stopover for more than 24 hours, or who intend leaving the transit area at the airport, must apply for a temporary visa other than a transit visa (eg. visitor, work or student visa).
This answer was last updated on 4 March, 2013.
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