Re "New Zealand is a beauty, but watch out for drivers" (California Traveler, Sept. 23): As an ex-pat Kiwi now living in the United States, it was great to read an article about my home down under. Though most of the article was bang on, there was one subject that continues to give me grief - travelers tipping.
In New Zealand we do not tip! It has never been part of the Kiwi culture. However, in popular tourist areas, cunning locals will encourage tipping to extract a few extra dollars from the uneducated tourist.
You don't need to feel bad as New Zealand has a much higher minimum wage than in the United States, a law which also extends to hospitality service employees. Though Kiwis welcome everyone, when traveling please help keep New Zealand New Zealand. You don't feed the bears in Yosemite do you?
-- Neil Hosking, Sacramento
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