NZ Service Standards

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  M.Moose 27 Oct 2011
at 12:00

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  • Anonymous


    I recently travelled with my family to New Zealand (South Island). Whilst the scenes were breath-taking, I can’t say much about the service standards. Almost every hotel (and we stayed in a combination of chained hotels as well as local motels) we went to had at best average / sub-standard service – we stayed 7 nights in total.

    On a service quality scale, if I use the St Regis Singapore as rating of 10, the Fraser Suites Sydney a 5; I would the best NZ hotel we stayed was 4.5 – others were all closer to 2-3. Nevertheless, I must say that were all very clean!

    Anyone else had similar experiences or is this an acceptable “norm” in the service industry in NZ?


    This is pretty much what I first experienced and it has not changed for the last 30 years! My mother rather enjoyed doing things for hereself instead of ringing a bell or pressing a button for swift service!

    The Kiwi hospitality industry is more of a DIY! But any ensential is there for self service!


    Standards in NZ IME are always below expectation. Go for the scenery, the cities are pretty dire. The only hotel I’ve stayed in that came somewhere near to expectation was the Intercontinental in Wellington. From experience there’s nothing up to the mark in Christchurch. The Hyatt in Auckland was OK. Somehow they just miss the mark every time.

    Flying Chinaman is right, nothing has changed for the last 30 years and I would have no expectation that it will in the next 30 years either!


    Interesting post! I think you folks seem to be missing the point about New Zealand, especially away from the major centres which, unless you are on business, are not really worth visiting anyway. Comparing NZ service with the St Regis Singapore is a meaningless exercise in my view – for starters, take a look at what you are paying at the respective hotels!!

    My experience of NZ hospitality is that it is genuine, it is engaged and those delivering it are really proud of the locality where they work and its sights, sounds and stories. They will also give you those great intangibles which for me are the essence of good service – time and interest in you as a visitor. OK, you may not get butler service or massive suites as part of the deal but what you get is a far more genuine Kiwi experience than you’ll get from an international chain in Singapore or Hong Kong in terms of what they offer of Singaporean or Cantonese culture.


    Tom: You are quite right in a sense that the Kiwi experience is rather UNIQUE! I loved their genuine approach and many visitors find that refreshing too, that included my mother where she had no problem doing many things herself and enjoyed it.

    You are also right in saying that travellers expecting high-level of service should go somewhere else as the majority of the Kiwis are in the farming industry! Not chic city folks! Many tours out of Singapore and sometimes from HK are advertised as FARM STAY. Not FANCY STAY!!!


    My best hotel experience in NZ has been at The Langham and the Hilton in Auckland.

    The Holiday Inn at the airport is VERY average. If you’re going to stay there, take a taxi as the shuttle bus seems to be once every 4 or 5 days.

    I’ve always stayed in little “suites” hotels when working in the South Island and while service may not be up to much, you cannot fault the price. Even in Christchurch at the moment with a distinct lack of rooms available after the closure of the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Grand Chancellor etc in the city, the little guys are not cashing in on this. I stayed in August at a place that was charging NZ$150 a night….and the place was packed.


    Like many organisations, Standards New Zealand regularly monitors the impact of inflation on the cost of providing its products and services. The cost of printing and publishing Standards and our ongoing operational expenses have been steadily rising in recent years. We do not receive government funding and rely on revenue from development contracts and the sales of Standards to cover our operating costs.


    My experiences were always good, except for Noah’s in Christchurch, which was utterly abysmal. The Regent in Auckland (now the Langham) and the Plaza International in Wellington were as good as most upmarket chain hotels in Australia.

    I stayed many times at a small hotel called the Marina Motor Inn in Mana, including holding my uncle’s wake there. It was always friendly and relatively efficient, and it most certainly was good value for money.

    Also, tourist literature used to state something along the lines of “Tips are neither expected nor welcome. Hospitality industry staff in New Zealand are paid a living wage for their work and do not depend on hand-outs.” This was refreshing but I don’t know if that’s now changed.

    NZ for me was always fun and good value and, when things did go wrong, it was often despite people’s best intentions.



    I live in Australia and travel to NZ occasionally. The Hilton AKL is great, one of my favourite hotels, but overall the standards of major hotels are pretty average.

    There are even significant differences within the chains you cannot compare the Hyatt in AKL to the 2 Hyatt’s in Mel or the Park Hyatt is Syd, the latter which has just undergone a multimillion dollar refurb and opens in Feb.

    NZ does offer good affordable value for accommodation and food and some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

    However if you really want to be ripped off for price and service try the boom city of Perth, average rate at the Pan Pacific is aud500 a night! Go to dinner at an okay restaurant and try and get a main course under $50.00.


    Fortunately we were staying in deluxe privately owned properties rather than mainstream hotels. Blanket Bay & The Lodge at Paratiho were just outstanding … total comfort.

    Grasmere Lodge on the other hand was a real disappointment.


    Australia SYD12 hours ahead AKL 10 years behind.Echo comments they are genuine friendly people but way to go to get good service.
    Chinaman the Malasadas are Ono.


    A colleague of mine thinks the date line should be move so that it is in the Tasman because then no matter where you came from to NZ you would be going back in time and from Australia it would indeed be yesterday! It has always amused me.


    those sheepshaggers live on another planet. although almost universally pleasant, their country, I find, deeply inconvenient. just about every hotel charges ridiculous amounts for internet (NZ$10 for 30 minutes is common), and a very slow service it is too; lots of luck getting a meal at anything apart from very slim time windows e.g. you”ll go hungry at 2.30 in the afternoon; and in the evening New Zillanders seem to have a thing called ‘tea’ at 6pm, then it’s all over. lost count of the number of times i have been told at 9pm ‘sorry, kitchen is closed”.
    despite having brilliant fresh ingredients, ‘good’ restaurants do amazingly fussy food (which is awful, and expensive) and ‘ordinary’ restaurants do things that the english gave up doing 20 years ago, e.g. boiling the hell out of vegetables. and to top it, despite making really good white wines, they seem to export it all. got very bored with being offered cheap chilean and italian wines. all told, a time warp experience, i would say


    😀 hmm….looks like I’m not the only person experiencing poor service in New Zealand!

    FlyingChinaman – I think your comment sums it all: NZ is a DIY place!

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