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tipping

Dunedin, New Zealand
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157 posts
11 reviews
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tipping

What's the general tipping policy NZ? Looking for standards for waiters, bartenders, cab drivers, etc., and also salon services like massages, manicures. A friend of mine says tipping isn't standard in NZ and Australia but he's kind of cheap and I'm not sure I trust him ...

Tin
Hong Kong
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6,584 posts
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1. Re: tipping

Generally no tipping in NZ, tipping is discretionary and for an outstanding service that exceed your expectation. It is very different from the US.

New Zealand
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9,313 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: tipping

Trust him! as Tin says there is no tipping in NZ. If you feel you have had exceptional service in a restaurant then by all means leave a small tip (whatever you feel appropriate, 20% would be considered very high). Under no circumstances feel like you're obligated to leave something.

I tend to round up a taxi fares also (if the person hasn't been po-faced) say $13 to $15, $27 to $30, you get the idea.

Melbourne, Australia
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34 posts
86 reviews
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3. Re: tipping

While there's no FORMAL requirement for tipping, most Aucklanders will tip their taxi driver - not a huge amount, but generally just tell them to keep the change from the fare.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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157 posts
11 reviews
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4. Re: tipping

Very interesting ... so a couple of bucks for cab drivers, and tip only for excellent service w/ waiters and busboys. Hard to believe, but interesting to know.

Do people tip for salon services (haircuts, manicures, etc)? I don't mean to beat this topic into the ground, I just don't want to be the ugly American ...

Bainbridge Island...
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240 posts
29 reviews
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5. Re: tipping

Hello all - we'd also heard that tipping was not customary in NZ, but our experience (nov/dec '05) was that (for meals) the practice was picking up speed in the metro areas, particularly Auckland/Waihiki Island. In fact in those places (and also some in Wellington), our credit card slips sometimes included the "tip line" (which all of us in the states are quite familiar with!)

Zappers/ToddNZ, do you think it's becoming more of a standard, or was our experience unusual?

New Zealand
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9,313 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: tipping

Oh yes that line appears alright, it's there to trap you guys! You're used to paying it so it comes as second nature to fill in the space. You will not be frowned upon for not filling in the space.

There is no need to tip, our restaurant staff are paid appropriately, they do not need tips to survive. Please do not encourage it by tipping all and sundry. It is one custom we do not want in NZ.

If you are to tip for exceptional service then pass cash to the person who has given you the service (if you leave it on the table it may be taken by anyone (patrons as well as staff) and placing it on your credit card bill does not guarantee the wait staff will get it!

You will get still get friendly service which is genuine as people aren't expecting anything for being nice to you- not that a tip guarantees niceness overseas!

Wellington, New...
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746 posts
58 reviews
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7. Re: tipping

I agree with Zappers - please do not tip in New Zealand. It is not expected and we do not want to see this custom here.

Auckland Region...
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221 posts
71 reviews
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8. Re: tipping

Another Kiwi piping up. Please do NOT feel obliged to tip.

Yes I do round up a cab fare if the driving has been OK , 13 up to 15 etc. Only when paying with cash though. If it is a credit card transaction, I do not add on a tip in a cab.

As far as meals are concerned, I only tip when it has been EXCEPTIONAL service. By that I mean the wait staff have anticipated my requirements, made sure my glass is replenished, consulted me on what the timing for my next course will be (As in, asking whether I want it now or would like to wait for a bit) You get the picture.

Certainly never tip a stylist, unless you want to look ever so slightly pretentious. They charge like wounded bulls in the first place so a tip may well add insult to injury.

As far as those little spaces on your credit card slip are concered. It is not compulsory to fill them in with an amount, however always fill in the "total" box at the end and keep your copy of the slip so that any irregularities (Not saying that these would be likely in NZ) are traceable.

Tipping is one habit I do not want to see become common place here as an obligatory practice.

Never understood tipping in the USA anyway, why not pay the staff a decent wage/salary and include the charge in the bill if it is compulsory?

California
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55 posts
8 reviews
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9. Re: tipping

I believe part of the reasoning for tipping was to reward those who had good service (more incentive for good service).

But, it is annoying to have to figure in everytime and it is REALLY annoying that tip jars are showing up in just about every store it seems. If I go and get a $2 ice cream, I shouldn't have to tip too! I hear your frustration.

Australia
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365 posts
12 reviews
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10. Re: tipping

I agree with the above posters, please do not tip or expect to tip unless you get very exceptional service-