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Cell Phone/Data Service for NZ

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I'll be in New Zealand next week for two weeks and am looking for suggestons on cellular phone or data service. I'll be flying in to Queenstown and then working my way back to Christchurch over about 10 days.

In Europe before, I've taken my iPhone and kept it on airplane mode but rented a cellular MIFI type device to use. Since I'll be driving and hiking it may be reasonable to have a cell phone in case we get lost stranded.

Has anyone rented a cell phone and or wifi device in NZ? Where did you get it from and what was the approximate cost? How is cellular service outside of Queenstown and Christchurch?

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