New Zealanders

A snapshot of New Zealanders

Most New Zealanders are pretty friendly and are interested in learning about other people's culture and society. For this reason, they like to ask questions about you and your country, and are happy for you to ask questions about them and about New Zealand in general.

However, bear in mind that you should not ask questions about one's income and age which are considered as personal privacy. Furthermore, personal comments such as, "You're quite bald", or "You've put on weight", "She is skinny" or "His hair is very grey" are also seen inappropriate unless it is a very close friend or family member.

You will find New Zealanders vary greatly with regard to how reserved they are in expressing emotion or affection openly. When meeting friends and family, for example, a simple hello is usually all that takes place unless it has been a long time since the last time they met. New Zealanders seldom cry, raise their voices or get very angry or upset in public.

Socialising

Young New Zealanders (over 18 years of age) often get together in pubs, bars or caf?s rather than in restaurants, which can be costly. It is acceptable not to drink alcohol when socialising.

Meeting people

New Zealanders often shake hands when meeting each other for the first time.

On most occasions you cannot simply turn up without making an appointment in advance, even  with friends. And it is important to be on time for meeting someone or attending an event or class, etc.

Sex in the society

New Zealand is a very open society, therefore, men and women integrate freely, are treated in the same way and take on similar roles in society.

However, women are often in positions of authority such as business leaders, and politicians, and the role of the wife/mother in a New Zealand family may be slightly different from what you are used to.

Clothing

On most occasions New Zealanders dress informally but relatively conservatively. It is not uncommon however, to see men wearing shorts and no shirts, and women wearing sleeveless tops and short skirts during the summer.

Keep in mind

* New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road. It is seldom to hear the car horn.

* New Zealanders prefer to walk on the left-hand side of the pavement to avoid collisions with other pedestrians.

* New Zealanders find it offensive to spit and litter the streets.

* New Zealanders prefer love outdoor entertainment. Popular sports include rugby, cricket and netball.

*'First come, first served' is applied to any places such as at shopping malls or post offices, which means queuing is required.

Religion

According to 2006 Census information, the major religion is Christian. Others  include Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. The best way to contact religious groups and organisations is to look in the phone book, under the 'Churches and Religious Organisations' section of the Yellow Pages or under the name of the religious group or denomination in the White Pages.

Source: Ministry of Education, New Zealand

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