Lyall Bay: on the south side of Welly, exposed to direct swell from the far-south Pacific. This place gets large on strong southerlies, but doesn't quite ever get frontside... only one or two smack per wave at best. Also works as a full down-the-line on offshore and cross-off northerlies when the swell is up... but rare and cheap-ass down-the-line. Nothing to get excited about GARY! ;) Very convenient - only 5-10min drive.
Plimmerton: on the west coast, up near Porirua. Launch is from Plimmerton Beach on the Onehunga Bay. Works best on norwesters with potentially smooth wave rides with several frontside shmackers possible when its right. Also works on W through WNW, but much less gooder. About 1/2hr drive.
Wairarapa/Palliser Bay: Apparently good wavesailing here, never been, Two hr drive from Welly. Lots of drunk people on Saturday nights in Lake Ferry, burning their SUVs in bonfires. Thus - good times watching others in dispair.
Taranaki: THE definitive wave spot in New Zealand, if not one of the worlds best waves. Never sailed there yet, I am sure the starboard-tack mast+ mackers will destroy me. Looking to go this spring. Drive is about 4-5hrs from Welly.