Tipping in New Zealand

Published: 23rd June 2006
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Tipping is not common in New Zealand if you wish to leave a tip for excellent service, please do so.
Minimum wages in New Zealand are $10.25 an hour for a worker over 18 and $8.20 for under 18, so they are not dependent on tips to subsidize their income, as is the case in the United States.
Most New Zealanders would not like tipping to become the normal procedure. This could factor into your wages when negotiating for a job. If tipping was a major part of New Zealand life, the minimum wage rates could go down. With workers getting paid less they are then required to put more pressure on the customer to leave a good tip. The other option would be for businesses put prices up that would then cover extra income for workers on lower wage rates. New Zealand now has a great balance between the non-tipping and the tip.
With a non-tipping society it also gives a better feeling when you have finished your transaction. You do not feel guilty about leaving the right tip, and do not feel like being held captive at a restaurant or cafe until the tip is paid.
One of the more common New Zealand tipping practices in New Zealand is to round up taxi fares to the nearest couple of dollars. Tipping at casinos for drinks are also becoming more common, especially if you are winning.
Restaurants, hotels or bars do charge an extra service charge on public holidays around 10%-20%. This has now become a common levy.
This charge is to cover the cost of paying staff extra for working on a public holiday.
If you get great service feel free to leave a tip, $5 would be a good tip and a nice way of saying thanks for going out of your way. It will be much appreciated, it is not expected.
Enjoy the relaxed New Zealand people and atmosphere of a non-tipping country
Do not feel "cheap" if you don't leave a tip, think "when in Rome".

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