I think much is to do with the fact that your average kiwi has done so little golf related travel that they haven't seen what great golf can look like. The extent of most golfers knowledge in this country is limited to those pretty pictures from the US Tour and the advertorial reactions to them lamely proffered by your compliant professional golfer.
I, for one, spent much time arguing with the establishment on the European Tour that by their legislated requirement for nothing other than positive remarks about any given venue they cut off important debate at its most visible point. Pro golf - like it or not - is the shop window of the sport. If proper and reasoned debate was allowed at this level, then it would result in much more reasoned debate in general (it might also result in your average pro developing a better knowledge of design when he/she had to fight their corner).
Instead we have the unhealthy cycle of renowned designer (or in NZ's case property developer) being awarded big budget job, event being used to promote, pros being suitably deferential, designer emerging with reputation enhanced and continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again. And in a small and until recently isolated place like NZ no real forum exists to break that cycle!
Fortunately the worm is slowly starting to turn, and there is therefore some hope.