If it was my phone, I'd probably search for a fix just like you have done. Eventually though, I would stop wasting my time I'd probably just return it. Perhaps claim that there was a power outage when updating with Kies or that Kies crashed.
Go back to where you bought it. If it ends up getting back to Samsung, I'm not sure that they are going to bother analysing what is wrong with the software, especially in NZ. So, hopefully you'll get a replacement.
In the worst case scenario, if they say that it's your fault and won't fix it, then they have to return the phone to you in the state it is in now. So you can still work on finding a fix later - but hopefully they just fix it.
Edit - I've only had this happen once with a piece of computer hardware. (long time ago). I messed up the firmware upgrade of a chip on a PCI board of some sort. It was dead, I couldn't figure a way to fix it. Initially I freaked out, but eventually I contacted the distributor in NZ. They got me to send it to them and they had a device to reflash the eeprom or whatever it was. It was not a problem for them and they just charged me shipping. Chances are, whomever get's your device at the end will have a way to fix it easily. They may just fix it without even looking into the problem.