New Zealand Business Etiquette Tips

So you are planning on migrating to New Zealand and starting a new job? It’s an exciting, vibrant country with a lot of great business opportunities and there is a good chance you will thrive professionally in New Zealand.

However, before you get started in the New Zealand workplace it is important to understand the professional office etiquette there. Understanding the quirks of New Zealand business culture will help you to conduct yourself in the best possible manner and avoid accidently offending anyone.

Business Tips for Working in New Zealand

So, here are some great New Zealand business etiquette tips that you can keep in mind:

  • In the workplace in New Zealand you will want to dress formally and conservatively. Take a look at what others are wearing and follow along. Usually workplaces will favour classic styles such as suits for men and skirts, blouses and jackets for women – in timeless colours such as navy or grey.
  • It is important to be on time or early for appointments, as punctuality is valued. Being “fashionably late”, while acceptable in some cultures, is considered rude here.
  • Normal business hours are from Monday until Friday and on Saturday morning for some businesses. Most people don’t work on Sundays.
  • When you meet someone, give them a friendly smile, good eye contact and a firm handshake. A smile is very important as it shows the other person that you are happy to meet them. Maintain eye contact and give a few feet of personal space.
  • New Zealanders value honesty in business dealings. Don’t try to hype or over exaggerate yourself. Kiwis will generally not trust people who have to oversell their product or service.
  • Do not attempt high pressure sales tactics as they will make people uncomfortable and hesitant to trust you. The negotiating process will take time, so have patience. When you are honest and straightforward you will have a much better chance of closing the deal.
  • Kiwis are quite direct and will expect the same. They are not impressed with something takes longer to explain than it needs to. Keep it simple and try to show not tell whenever possible.
  • They also value a sense of humour. If you are able to make a joke in good taste and you have the humility to laugh at yourself, then you will get along well with your colleagues in New Zealand.
  • People will be generally warm and polite when you meet them, but they will be reserved in a workplace setting. They will start to become more relaxed around you when you get to know them.
  • When it’s time to shut down for the holidays and take time off, Kiwis will completely go into relaxation mode. Trying to do business with someone over the holidays won’t be very productive because they will not want to be thinking about work, they will be enjoying their time off. Instead, wait until the holiday period is over and everyone is in “back to work mode.”
  • Often Kiwis will move to a first name basis quickly and will not often use titles, unlike in some other more hierarchical cultures. The country doesn’t have a formal class structure and wealth and social status is not highly prized. After a while at your job your boss might ask you to call him or her by their first name, so address them by their surname and title until they invite you to greet them more causally.
  • In general, individual achievements are celebrated in Kiwi culture and they believe that we are all equal and deserving of opportunities.
  • When it comes to doing business with Maori tribes there are a number of important ceremonial traditions and protocol to follow. Always follow the lead of the Maori people and respect their cultures and traditions.

These are just a few of the important points that you can keep in mind when it comes to etiquette in business dealings in New Zealand. If you are applying for New Zealand skilled visas to live and work here, a company such as The Emigration Group can help you with your application. To find out more about what they do, feel free to contact them today.

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