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Tipping in New Zealand

Tipping in New Zealand: The New Zealand Tipping Guide

Tipping in New Zealand isn’t a common practice, but how much should you tip when you want to tip? Use our New Zealand tipping guide for the answers.

Tipping in New Zealand

Tipping in New Zealand is considered a true “merit-based” system, as it is not necessary to tip at restaurants, hotels, bars, salons, or spas, as well as in a taxi, unless the service exceeds all expectations. Employees in New Zealand typically earn a decent wage, so tipping is, in fact, a true sign of a job well done. The general rule of thumb is that there is no obligation to tip, and don’t be surprised if some even refuse the extra money. Only tip when the service goes above and beyond and you want to show your appreciation. You can also opt to sing the praises to a manager, which is also appreciated.

For those times when you want to leave a little extra as a sign of thanks, there are some common suggestions, though no hard and fast rules, about how much to tip for different services. Really want to tip for truly exceptional service? This New Zealand tipping guide will help you navigate when/where you can leave a little extra.

New Zealand Tipping Guide

Cafe Server: If a tip jar is readily available, feel free to leave a few coins for outstanding service.

Restaurant Server: There is no obligation to leave anything extra, as servers earn a livable wage, but a few extra dollars or 10 percent of the final bill is always welcome for service that exceeds expectations.

Bartender: It is not customary to tip a bartender, and some may refuse the gesture.

Tour Guide: It is common to tip a deserving tour guide $5 or 5 percent of the cost of the tour, whichever is more.

Taxis: Tipping is not customary, and may even be refused, but you can tell him/her to “keep the change” to make the transaction easier.

Bellhop: If a bellhop delivers the luggage to the hotel room from the car, it is considerate to tip $1 to $2 per bag, but not expected.

Housecleaning: Tipping $1 to $5 per day is appreciated, but not necessary, for a well-maintained room during your stay.

Concierge: If the concierge goes above and beyond with helping you book reservations, giving you directions, and providing insider recommendations, it’s considerate, but by no means expected, to tip $10 to $15 at the end of your stay.

Stylist: Tipping in salons isn’t expected, and may be refused, but a 5 to 10 percent gratuity is typically appreciated for great service.

Spa Service Provider: A tip isn’t necessary, but you can leave 5 to 10 percent of the final bill for exceptional service.

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Kate H. Knapp covers food-related topics for Eat Boutique, as well as recipe tests for major online publications and cookbooks. Follow her on Instagram @katehknapp and Twitter @katehknapp.

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