10 Faux Pas Things You Should Never Do In New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand any time soon? Good for you! New Zealand is teeming with the best tourist spots any land could offer, the friendliest people on the planet, and a rich tradition to interest yourself with. 

However, like any other country, culture in New Zealand is very evident and most of the time, it can be a lot more different from yours. To guide you better, know these things that you shouldn’t ever dream of doing in New Zealand.

faux pas - see you soon in maori

Disrespect Maori Culture

Maori are indigenous people in New Zealand. Their culture is sacred to every Kiwi. It’s a beautiful culture that is passed on among generations in New Zealand and was preserved perfectly that way. 

Until now, the Maori culture is still rich in tradition. You’ll find yourself surrounded with it once you visit the country.  For someone who’s travelling, we’d love to show all these to you, but be careful of disrespecting any of it in any way possible.


Sit on a Table

This might be a bit puzzling to some, but we find putting your bum on the table rude. We also find putting your bags, and other things on a table or any surface where you also put food just as disrespectful.


Let’s explain this further. In New Zealand, we have what we call ‘Tapu’. Tapu refers to the ‘sacred and not ordinary’ that is prohibited in our culture. Tapu can be anything— people, places, events, and everything that’s associated with the human body. It’s always a Maori’s and a non-Maori’s (Pakeha) commitment to observe it at all times.


Force a Tip

Tipping in New Zealand can be a bit different than in other countries. Don’t get us wrong– we appreciate your tips, but we don’t require you to do it. 

Kiwis love to help out people in any way possible. If we did the best we can to help you, a simple ‘thank you’ will do. 

If you feel the need to tip, you are free to do so, but if we insist, please don’t force it. This means we’re happy to see that you appreciate it, but we only want to help you genuinely.


Mess with Rugby

Rugby is not just a sport in New Zealand. It’s tradition, culture and can pass as a religion. We understand that not everybody loves Rugby, but please don’t mess with it.

Saying it’s boring or arguing about a better sport you believe in can be a bit too much. We treat Rugby as sacred, as well as support our team All Blacks, the best we can.


Litter or Spit in Public

Littering is a faux pas in every place and every country, especially if you’re just visiting it. New Zealand’s beauty is preserved well by its people. We expect tourists to do the same as well.

Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures.

Spitting to some cultures may be okay or not a big deal, but in New Zealand, be prepared to get looks or get called out once you do this. We consider it rude and unbecoming. 


Plan Too Much

It’s okay to plan your itinerary and accommodation, but to stay strictly on your plan can let you miss out on the best things in New Zealand.

You must be able to be open about anything. Travelling to New Zealand is a big adventure and you should seize every moment that comes along with it.


Not be Friendly

A smile or a simple greeting can do wonders. We don’t expect you to talk to us every now and then, but we’re sure to be very welcoming once you do that.

People in New Zealand treat everyone as a friend, or family even. You’ll be surprised at how easily this comes off from us naturally. As a tourist, we want you to enjoy your stay, and what better way to do that than having a new set of friends?


Stay at the Hotel Only

Did you fly to New Zealand just to sleep inside your hotel, or do your desk job in your accommodation? Please don’t. 

New Zealand is a place for adventures, for sight-seeing, learning, socializing and just being one with nature. Please enjoy our place because it has so much more to offer. It will break our heart to see you not enjoying any of it.


Not Study the Road Signs

We drive on the left hand side of the road. If you’re not used to this, better hire a driver to tour you out because the roads will not also be an easy feat.

Please don’t drive while you’re tired because roads in New Zealand can be a bit tricky for tourists. We also appreciate you to study our road signs if you’ll be driving because we don’t want any road rage to ruin your trip.


Skip the First Sunrise in Hicks Bay

If you’re visiting Hicks Bay, you should do your best to catch the first sunrise. 

Hicks Bay, known as the home of the first sunrise, has the best spots to view this magnificent occurrence that happens everyday here. You can view it from atop a cliff, or a mountain, and be mesmerized with its beauty. 

If viewing the first sunrise tops your bucket list, then you should stay at the best accommodation there is. Hicks Bay Motel Lodge offers the best stay in this part of New Zealand. We can discuss and plan your itinerary with you, and give you the best Kiwi tips— including the things you should avoid. 

Go on, book with us!

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