Ok, drove the car from Parnell to Ron Wood in New Lynn no probs. Nick pulled the alternator out and disassembled it but to no avail - couldn't see anything wrong with the rectifier diodes . He had already ordered in a replacement on the chance it was required and has fitted it. Job all done and about 40% cheaper than the first garage I went to.
So... wallet significantly lightened but Ron Wood Auto Electrical gets my tick of approval anyway.