|I've enjoyed Wharepapa South on numerous occasions.
Nearby (45 mins) is Waipapa - on the dam.
Whanganui Bay on lake Taupo (other people have mentioned) is 1 - 1.5 hours away (further from Auckland) if I remember correctly.
Mostly sport in Wharepapa South.
Some trad at Whanganui Bay (more) and Waipapa.
Mojozone is not the liveliest as you say, but you may get something.
Possibly you'd find a partner at Bryces, but i don't think you could guarantee. Possibly at the campsite at Whanganui Bay also..
I wouldn't rule out Kawakawa (also on lake Taupo) I think has also been mentioned.
North of Auckland is also 'Ti Point' - Sport and Trad sea-cliff single pitch climbing. Not normally busy, and good in summer.
Check www.freeclimb.co.nz for free guides for most of these areas.
Personally I loved all of these areas. They all have some similar qualities, and some unique (between each other and other areas in the world) in my experience.
As far as 'quality' I guess that is different for each of us sometimes. Certainly different to Vic climbing (most of the rock is different to say araps, gramps and buffalo) but IMHO good quality to be found. In the areas listed above, mostly single pitch. A lot of face climbing, some crack/s, pockets (well lots in places!), edges and bulges. And awesome locations.