The NZ culture of big boots for safe tramping is a funny one. There is a similar culture here in the Western US mountains during the winter when you're off trail, with or w/o snowshoes.
But this is a case where minimalist options are limited - a boot with a soft cuff that is high enough to mate well with a high gaiter, has an aggressive lugged tread for decent traction on steeper snow and mud and tundra, a waterproof liner, and of course all the little bits that make a nice "minimalist" shoe like a low heel, some cushion, big toe box, etc.
In our fall courses, where we trek over snow and in very wet/cold conditions on most of them, the overwhelming majority of shoes we see are the Inov-8 288 GTX's. There simply is no second place, and no other shoe comes to mind as a standout selection.
We've used and recommended this "boot" (and the previous Inov-8 GTX para boot which is no longer made) for this purpose and although it's not perfect for a wintry hiking shoe (it could use a little more insulation in the sole, a little more stiffness for sidehilling), it's darn close to an ideal minimalist winter shoe.
I bring this up to say that I think there is a lot of room for development in the minimalist waterproof "boot" market, and I think the Inov-8 288 GTX is the benchmark thus far, there's just too much unoccupied space between this and, say, the Cadion, which is a far cry from a "barefoot" approach.
Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp, October 30, 2012, Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness, Montana