I often get asked by parents what instrument will be the best to purchase, and without a doubt, a decent and in tune Acoustic upright Piano is the best to learn on and these can easily be found on Trade Me. You will just need to ask some key questions regarding storage and tuning.
I know for some families you just won’t have the room or inclination to go down this route, but having a good digital piano or keyboard is really essential to make the most out of lessons. If children have a good instrument to learn on at home, they are much more likely to enjoy practicing at home and it certainly makes it a lot more enjoyable to listen to as well.
Most importantly, is that you must realise that Piano and Keyboard are different instruments, and will be taught accordingly. If you would like your child to learn a keyboard, then that is what you need at home. If you want them to learn a Piano, then that is what you need at home.
So here are my top recommendations for purchasing a Keyboard:
Firstly, whatever keyboard model you end up buying Touch Response is the number 1 function you must have when learning. This allows for playing dynamics (soft to loud and everything in between), and buying anything less than this would be a waste of money.
For beginners always go a Yamaha PSR463. There is a model just below this called PSR373 however as you progress through the levels, the 463 allows a lot more functions and usability for Exams and you won't need to upgrade again until around Grade 3 level so it should last a good 5yrs or so.
You can get Yamaha Keyboards from Music Works stores, there is one at Westgate mall. I would steer clear if the Casio models or others from The Rock Shop, they are of the same price, but the functions on Casio are much harder to navigate and not as good as Yamaha which has a few extra functions to allow programming to change voicing.
Here is a link to the 463, and the 373 below.
You may be able to find an older model PSRE453, 443 or 433 (or PSRE363, 353, 343 etc) on Trade Me but older than that I wouldn't recommend getting as keyboards lose their value very quickly so they are often sold for far more than they are worth if the model is more that 2 or 3 yrs old.