UFB was always FTTH by the way, not VDSL. VDSL was available to a lot of people well before UFB, and was available after Chorus (in Chorus areas) finished their FTTN rollout and installed a whole heap of new cabinets.
Australia's NBN (a very poor version of NZ's UFB) is using a combination of FTTH, FTTP and FTTN. Poor buggers.
Yes, now that you mention I recall UFB and FTTH.. There was just too many people being excited about their VDSL over the last couple of years that I had forgotten.
AU's NBN will also be HFC.. but such a bad situation there, so much money wasted so far. But over the last year+ there's also been buildings with VDSL (with HFFB) available and a friend, who has so far gotten nothing but 4G (Sydney suburbs), recently heard that they are getting FTTH soon and he already started digging to cable to route to the street. So they are catching up with availability at least, slowly for sure..
Wrt the queues and that. As we don't have any national project, it's all up to the carriers. You can ask them, you can check on their web site what is available at your address but that's it. You can't tell them that you are interested, please deliver when you are here. If they do something in your area, they'll send you a note, but there's no queue.
At the house where we lived until 2012 the only option was ADSL2+. I asked the carriers but nothing. They finally ordered fiber, at the owner's cost, for about 10k€. AFAIK, the carrier never really charged for it. Initially they offered the standard Internet access up to 100 Mbit/s but when I checked last year, they also had gigabit available now.
Everything here is underground in the city suburbs. And if you go rural enough, they are taking down the poles and switching people's landlines with 4G (or if you're really lucky, fiber). So compared to NZ, the options to actually physically install the fiber are quite limited (everything is in conduits thought as we've got quite deep freezing depth during the winter).
Third of the country has at least 100 Mbit/s fixed broadband in use so I guess things are generally working ok. And people like me, who are disappointed without a gigabit access :-)