Best Sport/Fighting (pound for pound): Rig and school shark, several other fish are also strong pound for pound, but don’t get big enough to offer a challenge unless you have light gear. You will get sevengill sharks down there too, I don’t know if I’d say they are a great fighter for their size, but they get pretty big.
Best Eating: Moki. My youngest son complains about the black capillaries that run through their flesh but it doesn’t affect the flavour (or blue cod and gurnard if you are lucky enough to catch them off the beach).
Best combo of the above: Rig
Most abundant/easiest to catch a tasty feed: Down in Timaru I’m guessing it will be elephant fish and the odd rig in spring and summer, and red cod in winter.