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International Business: SPOTLIGHT ON NEW ZEALAND : When Doing Business There . . .

November 10, 1994|LIESL GUINTO

New Zealand is culturally and politically a Western nation. The government and legal system is based on traditions imported from Britain, and the conduct of business generally follows Western customs.


* Expect a small, close-knit business community. Many business people may have links with several other companies.

* Expect business, accounting and legal practices to be similar to, but not exactly the same as, those in the United States.

* Visit New Zealand before you trade or invest. Personal contacts are very important.

* Learn about Maori (Polynesian) culture. Maoris, the aboriginal inhabitants of New Zealand, make up about 9% of the population.

* Expect relative ease in making appointments.

* Expect New Zealanders to be knowledgeable about the United States and U.S. affairs. New Zealanders tend to travel a lot, and many have lived in the United States or Europe.


* Don't be too familiar at a first business meeting. Although business in New Zealand may be conducted in a less formal manner than in many other countries, most New Zealanders are generally reserved during initial contacts.

* Don't make your schedule too tight. One meeting can lead to unexpected contacts.

* Don't be surprised if you are invited to a New Zealander's home for dinner or accommodations. Business entertaining often involves attending sporting or social events and frequently includes spouses.

Sources: New Zealand Consulate General, Price Waterhouse

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