Tipping in New Zealand Survey 2024

A great way to show your appreciation for great service, or an unnecessary additional cost at a time when things are expensive enough? More than 1,000 Kiwis told us their thoughts on tipping in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Key findings

  • Almost half (47%) of Kiwis say tipping in New Zealand is a good thing while 60% either sometimes or often tip.
  • Young people are much more likely to tip than older generations.
  • Twenty-eight percent of people say they have felt pressured into tipping by a ‘tip screen’.

Tipping can feel like a minefield, especially when abroad. Who should you tip, and for what service? How much is an appropriate tip?

While not customary in Aotearoa New Zealand historically, tipping culture does seem to be on the rise in the Land of the Long White Cloud. From restaurants and bars to food deliveries and Uber rides, there are lots of opportunities to tip, and some feel a growing pressure to do so.

To learn more about Kiwi attitudes to tipping, we asked 1,020 people to share their opinions on the practice.

Only a third of people think tipping is bad

While the idea of tipping can draw mixed emotions, many Kiwis actually feel positively about it. Almost half (47%) say tipping in New Zealand is a good thing, making it the most popular choice. Just 34% think it’s a bad thing while 20% say they don’t know if it’s good or bad.

Younger people are more inclined to believe tipping in New Zealand is positive. More than half of Gen Z and Millennials think it’s a good thing (51% and 56% respectively), while 39% of Gen Xers agree. Just 13% of those in the Baby Boomer generation think tipping is a good thing.

There is also a noticeable difference in attitudes between men and women. Over half of men (53%) think tipping is good while only 41% of women feel the same.

Income is also an important factor in shaping opinion on the topic, with those on higher incomes more likely to be pro-tipping. Thirty-seven percent of Kiwis earning less than $75,000 annually think tipping is good while 40% think it’s bad. However, of those earning more than $75,000 per year, 57% think it’s a good thing while just 28% believe it’s bad.

47% of New Zealanders think tipping is a good thing.

Should wages make tipping unnecessary?

Of those who think that tipping is a bad thing, the most popular reason for doing so is the belief that wages alone should be sufficient — 60% think that servers should be paid enough to make tipping unnecessary.

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

By contrast, in the USA the minimum wage for employees that receive tips is just $2.13 USD (around $3.50 NZD) per hour. However, 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, their employer must make up the difference. Note that many US states have a minimum wage which is higher than that set at the federal level.

At 22%, the second most common popular reason for thinking tipping is a bad thing is a belief that things are already too expensive. Ten percent say they just can’t afford it, while 8% don’t like tipping because they want to know the final price upfront.

Men more likely to tip

Our survey found that tipping is something that Kiwis are more likely to do occasionally, rather than on a regular basis. Forty percent say that they sometimes leave a tip while 20% often tip. The remaining 40% say they never leave a tip.

Younger generations are more likely to tip than their older counterparts. Sixty-seven percent of Gen Z and 68% of Millennials will either sometimes or often leave a tip, while that number falls to 46% for Gen X. Just 37% of Baby Boomers either sometimes or often tip.

Men are more likely to tip than women, with 41% sometimes leaving a tip and a quarter often tipping. Thirty-nine percent of women say they sometimes tip, but only 15% say they often tip. Forty-six percent of women say they never tip, compared with a third of men.

60% of Kiwis either sometimes or often leave a tip.

Kiwis feeling pressured by tip screens

Controversy has surrounded the rollout of new Eftpos machines that include an option of tipping 5%, 10%, or 15% of their bill. But ‘tip screens’ at payment time are not a new phenomenon and our survey reveals that Kiwis are not always happy about them.

More than a quarter (28%) say they have felt pressured into tipping by a tip screen. Gen Z is the generation that feels the most uncomfortable with 39% saying they have felt pressured. Older generations are less likely to feel uncomfortable when faced with a tip screen, with Baby Boomers the least likely to feel pressured (21%).

The data and infographics provided here are free to be shared and republished with a reference to Banked.

This survey was conducted using the Pollfish survey platform in November 2023 and comprised 1,020 New Zealand adults (aged 18+).

All figures presented here have been rounded to whole numbers to improve reading comprehension.

Age ranges of each generation are defined as follows:

  • Gen Z: 18 to 26
  • Millennial: 27 to 42
  • Gen X: 43 to 58
  • Baby Boomer: 59 to 77

To learn more or to request the full data set, please email [email protected].