social events & protocol
At dinner parties it is customary for guests to bring a
bottle of wine. It is also common, but not obligatory, to ask "Is there anything I can bring?" Often, the hosts will
decline the offer, but sometimes they will suggest that you bring
pre-dinner snacks, a salad, a dessert or perhaps after-dinner
Sometimes guests will be asked to bring a plate.
This is a local phrase that means bring some food. It
does not mean that you give a plate to the hosts. If you are
asked to bring a plate, it is best to ask what sort
of food is expected since this will vary depending on the event.
Parties and Do
If someone says "Were having a do, and
hope you can come", this means you are invited to a party!
If it is a do for your workplace, then it is
customary for the management to supply food and drink. If it is a
party organized by a club or group of friends, then it is likely
that everyone will bring a share of the food and drink, or will
chip in (contribute their share to pay for it). If
you are unsure what is expected, do ask New Zealand
customs are very flexible, so the locals often have
to ask questions as well!
New Zealand weddings are generally less formal than in other
Western countries, but this is not always the case. If you are
unsure what to expect, do not be afraid to ask!
New migrants are often startled by the informality of some
New Zealand funerals. Personalized funerals designed in line with
family wishes, and which follow no particular liturgy, have
become increasingly popular. Solemnity and grieving is often
combined with celebrating the life of the deceased,
and lighter moments are now a feature of most funerals.
Formal dress is not obligatory and semi-formal dress
increasingly common. An important exception to this pattern is
the tangi, the traditional Maori funeral. These are solemn
rituals at which marae protocol is strictly observed.
New Zealand celebrates 11 public holidays a year, on days of
national, religious or cultural significance. Every person is
entitled to these 11 days holiday.
The National Anthem
New Zealands National Anthem is sung at many formal and
sporting occasions. New Zealand holds a
unique position in the world in that it has two national anthems
of equal standing - 'God Defend New Zealand' and 'God Save The
Queen'. Both of these anthems have origins which have been
inspired by the fire of patriotism yet were written under
markedly different situations.
Words to God Defend New
God of Nations at Thy feet, In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat, God defend our free land. Guard
Pacific's triple star From the shafts of strife and war, Make her
praises heard afar, God defend New Zealand.
Men of every creed and race, Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place, God defend our free land. From
dissension, envy, hate, And corruption guard our State, Make our
country good and great, God defend New Zealand.
Peace, not war, shall be our boast, But, should foes assail
our coast, Make us then a mighty host, God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might, Put our enemies to flight, Let our
cause be just and right, God defend New Zealand.
Let our love for Thee increase, May Thy blessings never
cease, Give us plenty, give us peace, God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame, Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame, God defend New Zealand.
May our mountains ever be Freedoms ramparts on the sea, Make
us faithful unto Thee, God defend our free land. Guide her in the
nations' van, Preaching love and truth to man, Working out Thy
glorious plan, God defend New Zealand.
Words to God Save The Queen
God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God
save The Queen. Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to
reign over us: God save The Queen.
O Lord our God, arise, Scatter our enemies, And make them
fall; Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks; On
thee our hopes we fix: God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store On her be pleased to pour, Long
may she reign. May she defend our laws, And ever give us cause To
sing with heart and voice, God save The Queen.