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New Zealand – Meeting Etiquette

New Zealanders are generally friendly outgoing and social, however can be somewhat reserved with people they do not know.

Humour goes a long way in New Zealand and as long as people demonstrate respect & honesty, trust will be given.

Business Meeting Etiquette

Meetings are scheduled ahead of time.  Attendees are expected to be on time if not a few minutes early. Although meetings are serious events, they usually have a fairly relaxed atmosphere.

Small talk generally takes place between attendees, before meeting commences
Greeting someone with a hand shake and making and maintaining eye contact is regarded polite. A person would be considered rude not to look someone in the eye.

Personal space is important.

People are interested in facts – emotions or feelings are not needed in the NZ business climate.  Do not exaggerate on facts. People want the truth at all times.

People say what they mean.

Business people are assessed on the accurate information conveyed not on the credentials of the individual.

Negotiations in New Zealand

High-Pressure sales techniques are not received well in New Zealand, they generally will not work in the sellers favour.

Keeping your proposals brief and to the point is always appreciated. New Zealanders are not impressed with ongoing detail that is not straight to the point. New Zealanders are very direct, not aggressive and would expect the same in return
The negotiating process can take time in New Zealand, you must be patient.

Bargaining is not common in New Zealand culture therefore you must start your pricing at a realistic figure.

All terms and conditions must be outlined and explained upfront.

Keep to your word and never overpromise.

Titles and Business Cards

New Zealanders move quickly to first names after introductions. However written communication to begin with should be more formal by using titles, Mr., Mrs, Miss etc. Emails are generally conducted on first name basis.

It is common upon meeting someone to handover a business card however there is no strict protocol.

Written Communications

New Zealanders mean what they say. There are no hidden messages in written communications.