In Dunedin, we finally decided to buy the BBH card, a very efficient and to us unique system for budget travelers. Many hostels in New Zealand are members of an association, but BBH is the biggest with over 370 hostels. You can join at any BBH, with the card for 45 NZ Dollars comes a little booklet that lists all the member hostels, with a short description, directions and a rating done by BBH members and a phone card worth 20 NZ Dollars. Anybody can stay at these hostels, but with a BBH card you get a discount of at least 3 NZ Dollars per night, which represents actually more than 10 percents.
All accommodations in New Zealand are classified in categories, and each category has standardized level of comfort and services, so you know exactly what to expect: Backpackers are budget hostels, all with shared bathrooms, common areas and kitchen-use, Motels, Hotels, Boutique Hotels and Lodges are more expensive.
Well, needless to say we only stay in Backpackers, where we pay on average slightly above 30 Euros per night. Interestingly, many of the BBH hostels are also listed and recommended in the Lonely Planet, with commentaries in line with the rating made by BBH users.