An announcement on the QGIS mailing list about NIWA Quantum map made me curious. How is this going to differ from QGIS? As it turns out, NIWA Quantum map is basically QGIS with a simplified interface, i.e., it has some GIS functionality hidden or removed to be less confusing for users not familiar with GIS. They used the customization options to disable the editing functions, so users can enable that if required. I wonder though why they did not do the same with the analytical functions, rather then removing it all together.
It furthermore has a custom plugin added to provide easy access to a number of data layers for New Zealand. As these are WMS or WFS data sources, you can of course open them in QGIS too, or any WMS or WFS compatible software for that matter.