New Zealand Manners and Etiquette

New Zealanders are friendly and polite and it is expected to return their hospitality in return.   Learning and adopting their culture and manners will help you blend with the New Zealanders with much more ease.
  • Exchange handshakes and smiles upon greeting someone. Maintain eye contact during greetings.
  • Although New Zealanders move to first names quickly, it is best to address them by their honorific title and surname until they suggest moving to a more familiar level or they call you by your first name.
  • Do not appear too forward or too friendly.
  • Do dress conservatively and formally for business occasions and casual dress for less formal occasions.
  • Stick to the point while speaking.
  • Do keep your hands above the table, but don't put your elbows on the table, either!
  • It is not conventional to tip in New Zealand and restaurants but in the case of exceptional service a tip may be warranted, though it is not generally expected.
  • Some restaurants are “BYO”.  This is an acronym for “Bring Your Own” – meaning it is acceptable to bring your own wine (and occasionally beer).You are also expected to carry your own wine when invited over to a barbecue.
  • Do open your gift upon receipt.
  • Do give gifts such as flowers, chocolate, liquor, or a book about your home country.

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