Andre and anyone else who's interested:
As crazy luck may have it, I just received a message from a good mate of mine who is a West Coast (South Island) local. He just started offering customizable guided trips on the West Coast. I can 100% vouch for this guy as one of the best paddlers out there, who will also show you a great time off the river. He's fresh off 4 laps on the Stikine and just had photos published on the National Geographic website.
Check out his offering here: New Zealand Jan 2014 | kayakguide
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
. There is no question in my mind that with a local guide, you stand a much better chance of getting on the sweet runs and having a better time. Hokitika is a small place and to my knowledge this is the first ever guided trip offered. It sounds like he even has kayaks for you to use, which definitely beats bringing them on the plane!
Best of luck in NZ - you're gonna love it!