New Zealand Culture

Business Culture


  • Meetings in New Zealand follow very similar protocols to those in Australia.
  • First meetings serve the primary purpose of determining trustworthiness. They will be less concerned with getting to know you personally and more interested in your credentials.
  • Make the appointment for your meeting a few days in advance, and indicate what its objectives are beforehand as well. If you already have a written agenda, people will appreciate you sharing it with them. Meetings will follow the agenda provided, but may be more time consuming than planned.
  • Tardiness reflects badly in a professional setting, so make sure to arrive on time or slightly early. If you’re chairing the meeting, it’s more crucial that you begin punctually.
  • Business cards are usually exchanged during introductions without formality, and are also exchanged when there is a need to contact someone following discussion.
  • Introduce yourself by your full name and expect them to address you thereafter by your first name.
  • Before you begin discussing business, break the ice with a few minutes of social conversation—perhaps even with light snacks and refreshments. It’s best to only talk about impersonal topics (such as the weather) to avoid intruding in their private lives.
  • New Zealanders may use humour throughout dealings to lighten the setting. Reciprocate this to build a good atmosphere for discussion.
  • Give the impression that everything is well managed and under control. New Zealanders like to feel relaxed about business, no matter what the situation may be.
  • While meetings can seem casual, do not forget that they are still taken seriously.
  • Anyone present at a meeting is generally welcome to give their opinion, regardless of age or business . Using a position of power as a leverage in negotiations is strongly frowned upon.
  • Appeal to common sense during negotiations, and be clear about your intentions. Support your position with facts and figures, avoiding claims that you cannot support or demonstrate.
  • While negotiations tend to take quite a bit of time, New Zealanders generally keep to the point and stay on track.
  • Bargaining tactics are not usually used by New Zealanders, so put forth realistic figures. If you try to haggle with them over prices, they will likely be discouraged from doing further business with you.
  • New Zealanders do not like high-pressure tactics or selling that is confrontational and pushy.
  • Aiming for a fair deal will create better chances of future business with them, so emphasise win-win scenarios.
  • Decision making can be a slow process as subordinates are often consulted.


  • They appreciate honesty and directness that is lightened with humour, therefore be concise and in dealings with them.
  • Overly ambitious ideas will be seen as unrealistic proposals and will usually be dismissed. If you wish to communicate your competence or the benefits of your products/services, demonstrate this to them rather than simply telling them.
  • New Zealanders have a reputation for delivering high-quality goods. Many use the finest modes of production to gain the consumer advantage of having a boutique-like appeal in their products or services. Thus, they tend not to invest in ventures that lack true value or quality.
  • Reliability is strongly valued in business culture. If promises are not kept or business falls through, it is often strongly remembered. Furthermore, absenteeism is not tolerated in New Zealand; employee and colleague dependability is expected.
  • While giving gifts in business is not expected, it is greatly appreciated and admired when one does so. If you decide to give one, make sure it does not appear to be an attempt at bribery. For example, gifts given to a business partner while waiting for them to come to a decision would seem improper. On the other hand, gifts given at the sealing of a deal or closure of negotiations are seen as congratulations.
  • New Zealand has been recognised as the fastest country in the world to start a business by global rankings (just 1 day).
  • On the (2017), New Zealand ranks 1st out of 180 countries, receiving a score of 89 (on a scale from 0 to 100). This perception suggests that the country’s public sector is very clean from corruption.

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