@Krieg I like your intentions.
Picking up on the you-don't-know-what-you-don't know point.
Who would be the beneficiary of such lists? Not the experienced - they should know most of this stuff already. Not the completely naive - they wouldn't think to come asking here.
I'm new-ish to the country, but it really didn't take me long to work out that foreigners make mistakes because they don't appreciate how variable and fast-changing localised NZ weather patterns can be.
Anyone posting questions on these forums is already researching, and shouldn't need a gear-101 list. In general I would expect their questions to be more contextual; and probably deserving of a personal answer.
Having said that I do think their would be merit in a collaborative gear-101 list with a bit of the why/rationale (i.e. take a sleep mat even if the hut has mats because it might be full).
A number of tramping clubs in New Zealand already offer generic gear lists for overnight or longer trips that could serve as a basis. One such list is the WTMC gearlist: http://wtmc.org.nz/newsletter/trips/gear/
I make the assumption that most on this site like myself have read any number of gear lists over the years. Plus we know there are any number of gear lists available for perusal via the internet. Therefore perhaps the best assistance in some circumstances would be a list of links to some of these list that enquirers could be directed to to assist their own deliberations.
It appears that many perhaps approach the question via this web site because of it's reputation and the amount of practical knowledge freely offered by the participants herein.
In a vague analysis of all the gear lists anyone of us has read over the years there are always a number of must have items, because with out them you may as well just set your own arse on fire. Thus from the essential must have to survive whatever journey you are undertaking comes the discretionary, just in case, this would be helpful to have. Then last comes some items we might take that might be considered a luxury for some that others may view with disdain and would never bother to carry.
In my early years of tramping I was, I suppose fairly minimalist, mostly because everything weighed so much. Especially tinned foods, dehydrated was barely heard of back then. But as time progressed differing products made for some significant weight improvements, not to mention some of the pack and tent designs and the materials used.
Interestingly enough a few years back, following some comments I read herein, I did an inventory on my pack list. My pack weight didn't actually seem to have varied a lot in all the years I have tramped, yet I look to be carrying more stuff because the weight dropped in some areas has allowed me to take a little more discretionary stuff.
Now that I am getting older I find myself becoming more selective in what I carry and planning gear for trips based on what might be classed as essential for whatever my undertaking at the moment might be. At 70 I am more conscious of wanting to tramp more comfortably so as not to stress too many parts of the body at once.
I tend to pack these days for greater comfort in sleep and shelter, plus ensuring sufficient warmth.
Thus my gear list, that I have gathered together over many years is a reasonably sized list that has evolved according to need at any given time. Something that perhaps most have also done albeit at times subconsciously.
Hence my opening statement suggesting perhaps a number of links for people to refer to and maybe draw conclusions that are relevant, to whatever excursion it is they are planning. No one pack list suits all as we are all aware of.