New Zealand Culture

Do's and Don'ts

  • Show respect to Māori people and culture, being sensitive towards their history.
  • New Zealanders try to buy domestic products instead of imports to support their small economy, and their standard of product is generally very high with a 'boutique' attention to detail. Therefore, it is respectful to exhibit an appreciation for the quality of New Zealand products. 
  • In any situation that allows for it, pitch in and contribute in any way possible. For example, if you are taking a trip in someone else’s car, it is considered polite to offer to contribute to fuel costs. 
  • Clean up after yourself at all times (especially in national parks) and do not litter.

  • Avoid confusing New Zealanders with Australians. There is a friendly rivalry between the two countries which sees both make unfavourable or bantering comparisons of the other. 
  • Try not to overload them with compliments as they may find this awkward and become embarrassed.
  • Making sheep-related jokes will most likely attract an eye roll from New Zealanders as they are not thought of as original nor humorous.
  • New Zealanders like to tease, so do not take their jokes too seriously.
  • Do not boast or make ostentatious comments that give the impression that you see yourself as superior to others. New Zealanders will find this contrived and obnoxious.

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