New Zealand – Be Factual
New Zealand has a population of slightly less than 4 million people with most living in the key cities. The large majority of the population (89%) has a European heritage, primarily English. New Zealanders can be somewhat reserved, especially with people they do not know. Once they develop a personal relationship, they are very friendly, outgoing and social. Expect to receive respect from people and try to focus on being honest, direct, and demonstrating a sense of humour. Locals will trust you until they are given a reason not to.
Schedule appointments ahead of time. Plans should be made at least one week in advance by telephone, fax or email. Note that it can be difficult to schedule meetings in December and January since these are the prime months for summer vacation.
Arrive at meetings on time or even a few minutes early and expect a brief amount of small talk before getting down to the matter at hand. If you do not arrive on time, your behaviour may be interpreted as indicating that you are unreliable or that you think your time is more important than the person with whom you are meeting.
Present your business case with facts and figures. Emotions and feelings are not important in the New Zealand business climate. Maintain eye contact and keep a few feet of personal space.
If you make a presentation, avoid hype. New Zealanders are interested in what people ‘can do’ not what they say they can do.
Gifts aren’t generally exchanged in business situations. If invited over to someone’s home it is polite to bring a small gift such as chocolate, wine, or pastries.
Share your New Zealand business experiences.