New Zealand Culture

Other Considerations

  • Many Māori feel that they were ruthlessly exploited in the past and that the present atonement falls far short of what is morally required. Approach conversations about such past treatment and treaties with sensitivity.
  • The wearing of pounamu (greenstone) and/or bone necklaces is common practice among Māori.
  • Some Māori have tribal tattoos on their faces, arms, calves, etc. These have cultural significance and do not hold negative connotations (i.e. prison sentences) as they do in some western cultures. All traditional Māori tribal tattoos are unique to the tribal group.
  • New Zealand has many noise restrictions; for example, from 10:30pm to 7:30am it is illegal to honk a car’s horn. In the same manner, people strongly dislike being disturbed in their own home by their neighbours’ loud music or voices.
  • New Zealanders take their biosecurity laws very seriously. When entering the country, any food, wood or biological specimens must be declared at the airport.
  • New Zealand has one of the world’s smallest wage gap between men and women in the world (5%).
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