There is a wide range of materials available, covering all styles of design. If you are not sure where to start try the BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand) website. www.branz.co.nz
BRANZ is an independent and impartial research, testing, consulting and information company providing services and resources for the building industry. While aimed at industry they have a wide range of publications that are of use to the public.
A good starting point might be their "House Building Guide" which sells for $. Most branches of the public library have a copy.
BRANZ also produce a booklet called "Easy Guide to eco-building - 2006" which can be downloaded for free from their website. Very much a beginner's guide so especially useful to those wanting an eco-friendly house but have just started thinking about it.Eco Design Advisor is an organisation set up to advise prospective home builders on how to achieve an environmentally sound building. Unfortunately they don't operate in Christchurch however there is still useful information on their site and if there is enough interest the CCC may sign up for the scheme. Eco Design Advisor are here. Check out the links section for useful information.
Also check out Level, especially their information on passive design here. Level is an organisation set up for the construction industry by BRANZ. Quite a good site.
Quality and compliance issues are covered by legislation and a good starting point is the Building Act. A good source for information on this is the website of the Department of Building and Housing. Their web page providing information on the Building Act can be found here.