Tipping in New Zealand is neither customary nor required, though for exceptional service by either your waiter in a restaurant or a concierge in a hotel – we suggest a tip of at least 10% of your bill or $10 – $15 for an exceptional concierge service.
When eating with Maori you should be aware that many are devout Christians and will say a blessing before each meal – so don’t start eating before the blessing has been said. The ritual of hongi is very similar to a hug. Generally speaking, the hongi will follow a handshake and see two people lean slowly forward and gently press their noses against each other. It can be unnerving for those who have never done it – but remember that it is a sign of respect, affection and trust. If you see a sign with the word ‘tapu’ remember that this means ‘sacred’ or ‘forbidden’ and is basically a sign to warn people from walking on sacred ground or touching treasured items.