New Zealand Etiquette
When visiting another country, it’s best to read up on that country’s culture and etiquette. Below you will find some basic New Zealand etiquette tips to give you a better idea of what to expect while visiting.
The People – New Zealand Etiquette
You will find that most New Zealanders are very friendly, laid back and hospitable, so be relaxed and friendly around them. However, New Zealanders do still appreciate an ample amount of personal space, and too much direct eye contact may be intimidating. Rowdy noise is also discouraged, especially at night between 10:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. (Tip: Don’t honk your car horn between these hours because it’s illegal.)
As with almost any culture, don’t ask very personal questions like a woman’s age, the value of their home or what kind of money they make. They frown heavily on discrimination. All genders, races, and cultures are treated as equal.
Some Basic New Zealand Etiquette
Punctuality – New Zealand etiquette for punctuality asks that if you are supposed to be somewhere at a certain time, you show up on-time. Please don’t be late, or if you are running late, call to let them know why you are late.
Food – New Zealanders typically eat three meals a day and use forks, knives and spoons. If you are invited to dinner, make your host or hostess aware of any medical/dietary/allergy restrictions ahead of time. Second helpings may also be offered, however, if you are finished, a simple, “No thank you,” isn’t rude. Offering to help with clean-up and dishes is usually welcomed.
Dining Out – Tipping isn’t expected, however, sometimes guests will leave tips when dining at expensive restaurants. Alcohol can be purchased by those who are 18 and older. You are expected to pay for each drink as you receive them. If someone “shouts” (buys) you a drink, you are expected to offer to “shout” one back.
Showing Gratitude – Most New Zealanders are very giving, even if it means they go without. Saying, “Thank You,” for even small things goes a long way to express gratitude.