There are a number of woods which work well in New Zealand. The one I have used most and have taught many people to use the firebow method is mahoe on mahoe. Mahoe has many advantages, it readily found at low alititudes,is soft and easily carved. It has a tendency to produce suckers, which are straight and taper gradually(many die off naturally and are perfect). This enables you to make spindle and base board from the same branch.Mahoes strongest assest is the ember, often it goes straight to a robust glowing coal while pumping. I find the effort required is considerably less than with a manuka set. Mahoe dries quickly and i have had green sticks dry in 2-3 weeks and form good sets.
Another wood which is widely distributed geographically and can be found up to 1000m is, Kamahi. This is a medium hard wood and works well . It can be hard to find straight bits for spindle so they need to be carved, Another option is to join a piece of the right wood onto a straight shaft with a scarf joint. From time to time you meet Kamhi branches which have come down in a storm.
If you just wish to learn and practice the technique then there are several introduced woods which work well.
Poplar is a soft wood which readily produces a glowiing ember and is widely distributed. Some willows are quite difficult so do not perservere if it is not working. Because there are some easy willows, it just a matter of finding it.
Literature claims the Sycamore is the easiest wood and i would agree. Once you recognise it you will see it growing everywhere it is a pest in nz.(at least in tasman) It is quite hard to carve in comparison to the others mention but you can comfortably get a fire in less the 20 seconds with a good set.
As regards pine. I have not succeeded with naturally harvested wood but carved a set from kiln dried wood which produced a fire without too much difficulty. Maybe the treatment process remove some of the resins that cause problems with pine. Or i was just lucky
If you were able to take some pictures or video of your efforts I am sure us fellow members could learn a lot! Feel free tomake use of a blog post to share with others in our community.
All the best!