There is a lot to consider when traveling to New Zealand. You have probably been worrying about all the things you have to bring with you and observing a few safety tips, but one thing that is often overlooked is culture. Travelers should do their best to observe the country's culture or customs to reduce the chances of offending anyone.
Understand the Guest Role
Natives expect guests to be polite, and they will offer assistance when needed. New Zealanders and Maori believe that people should be caring hosts. For those who do not know, Maori are the native people of the country who make up a large portion of the country's culture.
It is important that you do not refuse hospitality. Remember that you are also expected to be hospitable when someone from the country visits you at your hotel or resort.
Titles and First Names
Another thing you should remember when visiting New Zealand is that titles are not really used all that much or for too long. You may be used to addressing others by certain titles, but this does not really happen in this country.
It will not take long for a Maori or New Zealander to call you by your first name. Now, make sure that you pay attention to the person you are talking to. Be sure to use his or her first name throughout the conversation.
Being Casual is Key
Another thing to remember about New Zealand is that most people expect you to dress casual. Some of you may be used to dressing up, but this is not necessary there.
You could go to an upscale restaurant in New Zealand and still find people who are dressed casually, which is the opposite of what you might expect in other places around the world. This means you can pack mostly comfortable clothing, which is good.
A few Songs may Come in Handy
Those who are going on New Zealand road trips are probably going to encounter a number of Maori since many of these individuals reside in areas outside the city. You will probably go through a number of villages, which is part of what makes these road trips so exciting, but this also means you should definitely learn a few songs.
This might sound strange, but the Maori welcome strangers with songs. Traditionally, a song is used to enhance a welcome and parting speech. Keep in mind that you are expected to share a few songs of your own, too. Try to learn a few songs from your home country to sing just in case you are ever in this situation.
Be Conscious of Your Environmental Footprint
The Maori and New Zealanders in general are very conscious of the environment. The people of this country do not appreciate when people mistreat the planet or the living things within it, so just be sure to always exercise good green-friendly practices while visiting the country.
Maori, in particular, are quite vigilant because they believe that hurting the environment diminishes 'mauri' or the life-force. Be sure to avoid importing foreign predators, which could disrupt the country's ecosystem, which is something that many care about.
These are just some of the things that you should remember when traveling to this region of the world. As a side note, remember that Maori are normally Christians, so be sure not to eat before a prayer has been said. Of course, when everything fails, try your best to simply avoid doing anything until someone else has done it just to be on the safe side.