Fuseworks Media

Tipping on the Rise in NZ? 47% of Kiwis in favour – Survey

Although many want to stop the rise of tipping culture in Aotearoa New Zealand, Kiwis are more likely to feel positively than negatively about the practice, a new report has revealed.

A survey of 1,020 New Zealanders from the financial information website Banked found that almost half (47%) of Kiwis see tipping as a good thing, making it the most popular choice. Twenty percent said they didn’t know, while just over a third (34%) say it’s a bad thing.

Younger Kiwis are even more likely to think positively about tipping with 51% of Gen Z and 56% of Millennials seeing it as a good thing, compared to 39% of Gen Xers and just 13% of Baby Boomers.

“The idea of tipping can evoke strong reactions, especially from those who are against it. From social media to Reddit threads, you don’t have to look too far to find people who are eager to push back against its rise in New Zealand,” says Kevin McHugh, Head of Publishing at Banked.

“But our latest research has found that people are more likely to see tipping as a good thing than a bad thing – especially younger people. This suggests that tipping is only likely to become more popular in New Zealand in the future.”

Banked’s survey also found that people on higher incomes were more likely to see tipping as a good thing. Of those earning more than $75,000 annually, 57% think it’s a good thing compared to just 37% of those earning less than $75,000 each year.

Do New Zealand wages make tipping unnecessary?

Of those who think tipping is a bad thing, 60% say it’s because they believe servers should be paid enough already. Twenty-two percent say things are already too expensive while 10% say they simply can’t afford it. Finally, 8% say they want to know the final price up front.

“A major reason why some people are against tipping in New Zealand is the belief that wages here should be sufficient,” says McHugh. “In a country like the US, where tipping is far more common, the minimum wage can be much lower, and those in some service industries depend on tips. That isn’t the case here in New Zealand and many see tipping as unnecessary as a result.”

The current minimum wage for adults in New Zealand is $22.70 per hour (set to rise to $23.15 on 1 April 2024).

But in the USA, the minimum wage for employees who receive tips is just $2.13 USD (around $3.50 NZD) per hour. If an employee’s wage plus tips does not equal at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 USD (around $12 NZD) per hour, the employer must make up the difference. Many US states have a minimum wage that is higher than that set at the federal level.

Younger Kiwis more likely to tip

Banked’s survey found that 40% of Kiwis sometimes tip, while 20% often tip. Forty percent of people say they never tip.

However, younger generations are much more likely to tip. Millennials are the most generous, with 68% either sometimes or often tipping, closely followed by Gen Z at 67%. At 46%, Gen X Kiwis are a lot less likely to tip, while just 37% of Baby Boomers either sometimes or often leave a tip.

Women are less likely to tip than men, with 46% saying they never leave a tip compared with 33% of men.

For more, see Banked’s Tipping in New Zealand Survey 2024.