Best strategy to get a good rental house in Auckland

Hi everyone.
We are moving to Auckland for a job. Both me and my partner have a work visa and our kids have student visa. We are now looking for a suitable place for a family of four in Auckland, preferably close to our work place.
I heard that the owners there often ask for a strong reference and NZ tenancy experience, which I am not likely to be able to provide.
Can any please guide and share your experience on this?
Also, if you have any suggestion for someone like us, especially for those who are about to live in NZ for the first time, please share.