NZ Work Culture

Old May 21st 2013, 11:22 am
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Default NZ Work Culture

Hi guys and gals

Any tips, experiences, advice please on the NZ work culture. I have been perusing the Canadian forum, with the good folk there (for the most part )
and am somewhat horrified by what is a description of Canadian work culture: not returning calls or emails if they don't want to employ you (not all, but many), favoritism and hiring based on relationships, somewhat superficial relationships and style etc

No doubt there are positives, but as someone who has always worked within a meritocracy environment and valuing fairness/integrity, I am admittedly aghast.

Anyway was just curious how NZ fared, any stories would be mucho appreciated!

floatsy
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Old May 21st 2013, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: NZ Work Culture

Originally Posted by floatsy View Post
I have been perusing the Canadian forum, with the good folk there (for the most part )
and am somewhat horrified by what is a description of Canadian work culture: not returning calls or emails if they don't want to employ you (not all, but many), favoritism and hiring based on relationships, somewhat superficial relationships ................

Yep, it's remarkably similarly and equally appalling; we have all of the above and some. I think you will be equally, if not more, horrified at the culture over here. Makes my blood boil too, when colleagues just let their phones ring off the hook and don't follow up on anything. I daresay there are some good places but my experience even with some well know internationals is that policy and standards don't quite translate into Kiwi.

Health and safety can be next to non-existant, however some see this as a good thing. One example of a multi-national that I worked with in the UK had a strict no alcohol policy, over here it is not even mentioned.

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Old May 21st 2013, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: NZ Work Culture

Being a much smaller country networking is much more common here. I write CV's and many of my clients are well into their careers having never had to have a CV because they got their jobs through contacts and connections. I'm surprised that this shocks you - it happens all the time time in the UK - look at David Cameron promoting all his old school friends.

On the health and safety front, it is true that this is not embedded as much as in the UK. I got two contract jobs at major companies in 2011 and in both cases I was required to attend their health and safety induction course. I was ticked off for not walking between the marked lines in an area used by forklifts, and going into the factory without my earplugs and hairnet (it was a food processing factory), so some companies do take it seriously. But I agree, that many don't take the issue as seriously as it merits. This is changing though.

I have disagree on the phoning back issue. I understand that recruitment consultants have a bad reputation, but in business generally you would expect to get a call back. I'm self employed now, but my clients phone, email and turn up when they should. My suppliers respond to my calls and queries quickly and efficiently. The only problem I've had recently is someone who is just not responding to my emails and texts, and he is a Brit, so I don't think you should generalise on this issue.

Having worked in the UK and NZ, (UK for longer), I think there are pros and cons. It tends to balance out for me.
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Old May 22nd 2013, 8:53 am
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Default Re: NZ Work Culture

Many thanks, both. That is helpful and yes of course I understand extension by reputation. I don't understand a mates only system (i.e. despite of qualifications)

cheers,
f.
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Old May 22nd 2013, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: NZ Work Culture

Management is really bad in NZ. You will be much better off working for multi-nationals (avoid Kiwi owned companies unless you are sure that the management is good) or be self-employed.

Last edited by Assanah; May 22nd 2013 at 8:15 pm.
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Old May 22nd 2013, 9:49 pm
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Default Re: NZ Work Culture

Originally Posted by Assanah View Post
Management is really bad in NZ. You will be much better off working for multi-nationals (avoid Kiwi owned companies unless you are sure that the management is good) or be self-employed.
I have been here six years and I have worked for three different companies -I did not know anyone at the companies prior to me being employed. So I was employed based on my CV and interview. Each company has been very different and they all have had their pros and cons. But this was my experience in the UK as well.

I think there is a culture of employing mates and friends here in NZ, but this was the same in the UK. There is good and bad wherever you go unfortunately. Good luck with the job hunting.
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Old May 23rd 2013, 12:22 am
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Smile Re: NZ Work Culture

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
One example of a multi-national that I worked with in the UK had a strict no alcohol policy, over here it is not even mentioned.
Oy, hands off my booze . This is one of the best things about "working" culture in New Zealand.

Agreed on poor management (basically most managers got there by knowing where the broom was kept, it's still not considered a profession in itself) and getting hired through friend-of-a-friend type arrangements at local firms. You also find similar arrangements on bid processes from time-to-time, firms will simply collude because they are big fish in a small pond.

That said many kiwis seem quite happy to toil unproductively which makes it really easy for the rest of us. Ups and downs, you just have to know how to play the system .
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Old May 23rd 2013, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: NZ Work Culture

Very interesting and very helpful!

Thanks guys/gals
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