Australia and New Zealand follow western business practices, Australasia
place heavy emphasis on individuality and adhere to the ‘norms’ of British business. People speak of Australia as being very ‘out going’ and relaxed, whilst New Zealand is seen as being rather like Britain was twenty years ago. Few Aussies/New Zealanders people speak any other language than English though there is a large East Asian immigrant community in Australia.In terms of language, aA very distinct accent and slang has developed ‘down under’ which can be difficult for non-native speakers of English, used to American T.V., to understand. Best times to visit on business are February to May or October to November.

In this section you’ll find the  Top Ten Tips for doing business, along with opening times, holiday dates and festivities for Australia and New Zealand


  1. Business is conducted quickly. Any small talk (usually sport or current affairs) is usually brief and negotiating is a brief process.
  2. The country is so large that contacts and connections are very useful. There is an Australian version of the “Old Boy” network among senior industrial executives.
  3. Australians are hard working and strive for a better quality of life. Leisure time is important to them, as is sport and recreational activities.
  4. Be punctual.  Time is precious and not to be wasted.
  5. Once a contract is drawn up both parties are expected to adhere to it.  Australian commercial law is very thorough and detailed.
  6. Be aware: Australians are poor on foreign languages.
  7. Everyone is equal and status can be treated with irreverence. Australians do not practise deference! Informality is the etiquette.
  8. Australians are pragmatic.  If you have a problem, don’t conceal it. Presentations should be complete – the good and the bad.
  9. Don’t be off put by the directness in communication. Australians are blunt to the point of being rude.  This is not meant to offend. Respond with confidence and good humour.
  10. Don’t lose your nerve when bargaining. Price haggling is common and everyone is looking for the best deal 

Public Holidays:

January 1         New Year’s Day*

January26        Australia Day*

March/April    Good Friday date changes every year

March/April    Easter Saturday**

March/April    Easter Sunday

March/April    Easter Monday

April 25           ANZAC Day*

June                 2nd Monday Queen’s Birthday (Except Western Australia)

December 25   Christmas Day*  

December 26   Boxing Day (except Southern Australia)

*If these holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, they are observed on the Monday following.

**Except Western Australia and Victoria

Weekend Saturday afternoon, Sunday

Business Hours 9.00-5.00


State Holidays:

Australian Capital Territory (Canberra)

March              3rd Monday Canberra Day

August             1st Monday Bank Holiday

October           1st Monday Labour Day

New South Wales

August             1st Monday Bank Holiday

October           1st Monday Labour Day

Northern Territory

May                 first Monday May Day

July                  1st Friday Alice Springs Show (Alice Springs only)

July                  2nd Friday Tennant Creek Show (Tennant Creek only)

July                  3rd Friday Katherine Show (Katherine only)

July                  4th Friday Darwin Show (Darwin only)

August             first Monday Picnic Day         


May                 first Monday Labour Day


The Royal National (RNA) Show takes place 2nd week of August and is a holiday there.

South Australia

May 18            Adelaide Cup Day (Adelaide only)

October           first Monday Labour Day

December 26   Proclamation Day


February          2nd Tuesday Regatta Day (South only)

February          last Wednesday  Launceston Cup Day (North only)

March 1st Monday Eight Hours Day

April 14           Bank Holiday

October           Thursday after 17th Hobart Show Day (South only)

November 2    Recreation Day (North only)


The Launceston show takes place in early October and is a holiday there.


March 2nd Monday Labour Day

November       1st Tuesday Melbourne Cup Day (Melbourne metro area only)

Western Australia:

March first Monday Labour Day

June                 first Monday Foundation Day

September       Monday nearest 30th Queen’s Birthday


May                 second Sunday Mother’s Day

September       first Sunday Father’s Day

New Zealand

  1. A friendly and honest people, who are polite, formal and reserved. Be decorous and respectful of ‘appropriate’ behaviour. Business dress is conservative.
  2. Cultural mix of British reserve, Maori graciousness, and US-style openness. Rank is minimised, equality emphasised, and individual achievement and initiative are encouraged.
  3. Punctuality is important.  Arrive 5 minutes early – that is the custom.
  4. Business pace is fast compared with Australia
  5. Negotiations are conducted in an honest, frank, and forthright manner. Present clearly and pay attention to details.
  6. Contracts are legally binding and both parties are expected to adhere to the agreement.
  7. Introductory meetings take place in an office, after that in a restaurant over lunch.
  8. Little attention is paid to wealth and status. You are judged by the person you are. Your word must be your bond.
  9. Don’t use first names initially.  Once a relationship has been established, you can start using first names quickly
  10. 10.  Don’t confuse or compare New Zealanders with Australians. Different country, different people, different culture! Strong rivalry exists between the two.

Public Holidays

January 1         New Year’s Day

January 2         2nd Day of New Year

February 6       Waitangi Day

March/April    Good Friday/ Easter Sunday/ Easter Monday

April 25           ANZAC Day

June 2              Queen’s Birthday

October           Last Monday Labour Day

December 25   Christmas Day

December 26   Boxing Day

Weekend Saturday afternoon, Sunday

Business Hours 8.30/9.00 – 5.00/5.30, (Saturdays 9.00-12.30)


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