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When to travel to New Zealand?

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Hi: I'm planning a trip to New Zealand and was thinking of Mid December 2015 to mid January. After visiting an old friend in Auckland, I'll be traveling to Wellington and Christchurch via train and ferry before returning to Auckland for a few days.

I've discovered recently that these dates coincide with school holidays in NZ. I can travel later in the year (2016) so am wondering if a delay is a good idea. Since I'm not planning to pre-book all my accommodations, does it make sense to wait until school break is over?

Thank you for any feedback.

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