While tipping is customary for certain services in America, it isn’t common in other places around the world - like New Zealand.
In the States, waiters and waitresses often make less then minimum wage and rely heavily on tips to make a living, but in other countries, workers are paid a better wage and so tips are often not expected or necessary.
However, in certain situations and in touristy areas in New Zealand, tipping is more common for exceptional service. So when do you tip and how much?
Restaurant workers do not work only for tips in New Zealand, so do not feel obliged to leave a tip when paying your check. If the service was excellent, leaving a 10% gratuity is more than generous and your waiter or waitress will certainly appreciate it.
Tipping taxi drivers in New Zealand is not a common practice. If you attempt to tip your driver, it may even be refused. It is common to leave your change for the driver, if for no other reason than making the paying process easier. If you insist on tipping the driver, 10% or less is reasonable, but do not be surprised if they refuse to accept your tip.
Tipping is customary at hotels in New Zealand, so tipping $1-$2 per bag carried and $1-$5 for room/maid service is viewed as a nice gesture. If the concierge does you a favor or provides you with excellent service, tipping $10-$15 is more than acceptable.
Tipping tour guides in New Zealand is common as their services are aimed at tourists. While gratuities are not necessary, if you feel your tour guide did an exceptional job, tipping a few dollars will likely not be refused.
Don’t feel pressured to leave a tip when at a spa in New Zealand, but feel free to tip if you feel you received outstanding service. Leaving 5-10% is considered generous.
Knowing when and how much to tip when traveling in New Zealand can be confusing, so if you are unsure, ask a receptionist or concierge. They will likely clear up any concerns you may have.
Tipping is not expected in New Zealand, as it is in the United States, rather it is viewed more as a bonus. So when travelling in New Zealand, do not feel obligated to tip but feel free to do so if you believe you have received outstanding service.