New Zealand

Megan Lopez

Basic information

  • The official language of New Zealand is Maori
  • Most people, though, speak New Zealand english
  • No official religion
  • Most New Zealanders are Christians



  • Guests must wait to be seated
  • Meals are almost always family-style
  • Hands kept above the table at all times
  • No elbows on the table

  • Smiling is a sign of respect
  • Use last names until comfortable enough to use first names
  • Handshake

  • If conversation is not possible, a nod, wave, or raise of the eyebrows is a sign of recognition
  • Personal space is an important thing when speaking
  • Traditional courtesy is not valued


  • Smoking
  • Overstaying your welcome
  • Eating food unless blessed in Maori
  • Being late
  • Making promises you can't keep
  • Wrapping presents in red (taboo color of New Zealand)


  • Mutual choice unless religion says otherwise
  • Conducted by a celebrant, Church priest, or a vicar
  • Parental consent is required of under 20
  • Most people plan their own weddings

  • The only way for divorce is irreconcilable breakdown (the two parties living separately for two years)


  • Meat based society
  • Lamb, pork, venison, salmon, lobster, oysters, mussels, scallops, etc.
  • Pavlova is the national dessert
  • The distinctiveness of their food is more in the relaxed way they eat, not WHAT they eat


  • Powhiri- welcoming ceremony
  • Ceremony when you become a citizen


In 2012:

  • 2.8 million out of 4.448 million New Zealanders used technology
  • Technology is not a big part of the society

Coming of age

  • It is common for families to gather at the 18th birthday celebration and share embarrassing photos and childhood memorabilia
  • Legal age to vote, purchase tobacco and alcohol is 18