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Preference for a trip to New Zealand- Air Pacific vs Air New Zealand?

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I am trying to get to Auckland New Zealand next month/January 2013 to meet up with my daughter who will be down for work. I ran into a wall trying to cash in my air miles down there on AA so have looked around on many websites to try and find a cheap fare. A pop up for a travel agency in Seattle that specializes in the South Pacific has gotten me cheaper fares than the actual airline websites.
My question is: would you pay an extra $400USD to fly Air New Zealand nonstop from LAX to Auckland or would you save the money and go on Air Pacific by way of Fiji with a plane change to Auckland?
Thoughts on flying either airline?

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