+ General Country Information
+ History
+ Concept of Time
+ Family and friends
+ Gender
+ I or We Attitudes
+ Manners and Taboos
+ Spiritual care
+ Communication Style
+ Greetings
+ Language and Communication
+ Non-verbal Communication - Eye contact
+ Non-verbal Communication - Gestures
+ Non-verbal Communication - Personal Space
+ Attitudes and understanding of dementia and other health issues
+ Attitudes to end of life care
+ Attitudes to pain
+ Attitudes to residential care
+ Care information
+ Cultural Activities
+ Cultural Traits
+ Food and Diet
+ Music
+ Special Days - Christmas
+ Special Days - Easter
+ Special Days - New Year
+ Special Days - Other
+ Superstitions

Compare with another culture

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Australian

Chinese

Croatian

Dutch

Filipino

German

Greek

Hungarian

Indian

Italian

Malaysian

Maltese

Maori

Nepalese

New Zealander

Polish

South Korean

Spanish

Sri Lankan

Ukrainian

Vietnamese

Generalist

  • New Zealand is located in the continent of Oceania.
  • It has four maritime boundaries; Australia, Fiji, Tonga and Norfolk Island.  
  • It comprises of two main islands, named the North Island and the South Island. These islands are separated by the Cook Strait.
  • The North Island is renowned for its diverse cities, volcanic activity and national parks and the South Island is renowned for its mountains, lakes and glaciers.
  • New Zealand also consists of; Stewart Island (the third largest island that lies south of the south island), hundreds of coastal islands and many regional islands.
  • New Zealand has a low population density, with a population of approximately 4,474,549 people (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016).
  • Three quarters of the population live in the North Island and Waiheke Island has the largest population of the smaller islands.
  • New Zealand has a total area of 268,838 square kilometres and ranks as the 76th largest country (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013).
  • People from New Zealand are often given the “nickname” (informally referred to as) “kiwis”.
  • Census data indicates major ethnic groups are; European 71.2%, Maori 14.1%, Asian 11.3%, Pacific peoples 7.6%, Middle Eastern, Latin American, African 1.1% as well as others (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013).
  • The climate is; subtropical in the far north in summer, snow in the mountain areas in winter, and mild weather in most of the country.

Tips

  • Understand that a person’s country of birth does not define their culture. Whilst we are “born into culture” we are not “born with culture”. A person’s “culture” is something that is learnt from our environment and by our individual experiences. It continuously adapts to our changing circumstances throughout our lives.
  • Determine what culture or cultures your care recipient identifies with.
  • Keep in mind that the culture in metropolitan areas varies with culture in rural areas and that culture in different regions within a country may also vary significantly.
  • Learn about your care recipient’s life history, and who they identify with, to determine their individual cultural traits. Document any significant details.
  • Understand how your care recipient’s culture informs their values, behaviours, beliefs assumptions, likes, dislikes and sensitivities.

Resources

Generalist

History of Migration to Australia

  • There have been close links between Australia and New Zealand since colonial times.
  • Between 1828 and 1840 New Zealand was under the jurisdiction of the Governor of New South Wales.
  • Migration amongst Australia and New Zealand has occurred over a long period of time, influenced mainly by the economies of each country.
  • A reciprocal arrangement between Australia and New Zealand since the 1920s made migration easy.
  • The “1973 Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement” allowed Australian and New Zealand citizens to enter each other's country to visit, live and work, without the need to apply for authority to enter the other country before travelling (Department of Immigration and Border Protection).
  • There was a significant increase in migration to Australia as a result of a recession in New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • It is estimated that 80,466 New Zealanders were living in Australia in 1971, by 1981, the number of New Zealander-born living in Australia more than doubled, and by 1991 there were approximately 276,070 New Zealand-born people in Australia. (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
  • Further significant migration followed due to the New Zealand recession of the late 1990s.
  • On 1 September 1994, a Special Category visa (SCV) was introduced requiring New Zealand citizens wanting to enter Australia to present a valid New Zealand passport and incoming passenger card for immigration clearance (Department of Immigration and Border Protection).
  • New Zealand-born people are the second largest group of overseas born people in Australia.
  • Census data indicates there were 483,398 New Zealand-born people residing in Australia at the 2011 census and New Zealanders of Maori descent make up approximately 12% of the New Zealand-born population in Australia (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).

History of New Zealand

  • Refer to 'History Resources'.
  • Note: New Zealand originally composed of indigenous Maori only. For information regarding the Maori culture, please refer to the Maori section.

Tips

  • Determine exactly where your care recipient was born and where they lived. For example; was your care recipient born in Australia, or did they migrate to Australia? If they migrated, how and why did your care recipient migrate to Australia? What experiences and associations do they have of their home country? If they have lived in other countries; where have they lived? How long did they spend in other countries and what did they do whilst they were there?
  • Be aware and sensitive to any stress that may have been experienced as a result of their history (this may include; family separation, homesickness, conflict, depression and isolation).
  • The knowledge of a person’s history may assist with a better understanding of the care recipient as well as any associated psychological issues resulting from their past.
  • Understand how your care recipient’s culture informs their values, behaviours, beliefs assumptions, likes, dislikes and sensitivities and document any significant details.

Resources

Generalist

  • New Zealand is considered an Individualist culture.
  • This means New Zealand is a society where the preference is for people to look after themselves and their immediate family.
  • New Zealand scores 79 on the Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV) index. (Hofstede centre).
  • The index scale ranges from 0-100, with 50 as a mid-level. The low numbers indicate “collectivist” cultures, and high numbers indicate “individualist” cultures.

Tips

  • Identify and document if your care recipient is an “individualist” with an “I” attitude of self and immediate family, or a “collectivist” with a “we” or group attitude, or if they have both “collectivist” and “individualist” traits.
  • Allow for a “collectivist” person to feel the comfort of doing most things in a group setting and for an “individualist” person to have more opportunities for themselves.

Resources

Generalist

In Australia

  • New Zealand-born people living in Australia are predominately Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian or Reformed Christians (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).
  • In the 2011 census, there were 34.6 percent that stated 'No Religion' and 6.1 percent did not state a religion (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).

In New Zealand

  • The major religious affiliations in New Zealand are: Christian 44.3%, Hindu 2.1%, Buddhist 1.4%, Maori Christian 1.3%, Islam 1.1%, other religions 1.4%, no religion 38.5%, not stated, unidentified or objected to answering 12.3%, (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013).

Conflicts

  • There has been some conflict between Catholics and Protestants (as in Ireland).
  • Catholic schools were denied government funding until 1975. (New Zealand Government).
  • Non-religious conscientious objectors were forced to go to war and sometimes punished. (New Zealand Government).

General

  • Different cultures and religions have different expectations of care in regards to toileting, dressing and feeding.
  • Every culture and religion vary greatly in spiritual needs and this may impact on the acceptability of certain treatments and medications. Therefore, it is paramount to identify the care recipient’s religion and cultural background to appropriately address the supports and services required.
  • For further information, refer to Spiritual care resources.

Tips

  • Accept and respect that customs, religious and spiritual beliefs vary from one culture to another and that the beliefs of your care recipient may significantly differ to your own beliefs.
  • Utilise resources and attend training sessions to increase your own knowledge about different religious and spiritual beliefs.
  • It is useful to ask care recipients a range of questions such as; ‘what helps you cope in difficult times’ and ‘what is important to you’ to determine ways to enhance their care.
  • Be aware of the significance of spiritual needs to your care recipient. Identify and document their religious beliefs and spiritual needs such as; any special requirements regarding food, personal care, linguistic needs or religious impacts towards treatments and/or medication.
  • Identify and provide access to relevant religious literature, radio, TV, live stream services, DVDs and CDs.
  • Support care recipients to maintain religious networks and religious representation and facilitate outings to places of worship.
  • Acknowledge and observe days of religious significance to your care recipients in a culturally appropriate manner.

Resources

Generalist

  • Priority to the immediate family is most common in New Zealand.
  • Households in New Zealand are predominately made up of two parents and children, however single parent households are increasing.

Tips

  • Be aware and sensitive to the fact that some people may have become separated from family for a range of reasons including; Stolen Generations, war, conflict, disaster or migration.
  • Families and friends from different cultures will have a different understanding of dementia and their expectation of care for their loved one may vary significantly.
  • Provide communication and information in accordance with their language and literacy level and facilitate all achievable care expectations.
  • Gain an understanding of the dynamics of your care recipient’s family and friends and engage with them whenever required/needed.
  • Ensure that roles in decision-making about care of the person with dementia have been clearly established and documented.
  • Research indicates that carers of people living with dementia experience greater strain and distress than carers of other people.
  • It is important to be sensitive to the feelings of shame and guilt that family members and friends may be experiencing.    

“Family and friends” resources

  • A range of information to help support family and friends is available in the “Family and friends, resources” section below.

Resources

Generalist

  • The New Zealand accent is similar to the Australia accent, yet many words and sayings make it uniquely different to any other language.
  • New Zealanders tend to speak quite fast and many use a wide range of slang words.

In Australia

  • The main languages spoken by New Zealand-born people in Australia are; English, Samoan and Maori. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011).

In New Zealand

  • English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages of New Zealand (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013).
  • For the majority of the New Zealand population, (89.9%), English is their first language.
  • Other languages include; Samoan (2%), Hindi (1.6%), Northern Chinese (1.2%) and Yue (1%) (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013).

Tips

  • Being able to communicate effectively is crucial to the physical and emotional well-being of the care recipient.
  • Be careful not to underestimate or assume the communication capacity of a person with dementia.
  • Ensure that the care recipient has participation in decisions that affect them.
  • The words you use when speaking to, and about, a person with dementia matters. It is important to always use positive and enabling language and to not use words that may cause offense.
  • Ensure the health care and personal care plans and reviews identify and support the linguistic needs of your care recipient and their family.  Be mindful that linguistic considerations should include the care recipients’ menu choices, food services, their religious and spiritual needs, and their ability to participate in activities. Determine what language(s) they are able to speak, read and write. Communicate with them and provide information according to their language preference and literacy level.
  • Identify and record and health issues such as poor hearing, poor eyesight, dehydration or problems with dentures to ensure there is no miscommunication with your care recipient.
  • Be aware that most people with dementia will revert back to their native tongue and/or other languages they have learnt.
  • Care recipients should always be given the choice to use professional translators and interpreters. Provide professional translators and interpreters to your care recipients and/or to their family whenever they request the need, when the care plan is developed, when the care plan is reviewed and at any time when “informed consent” is required.
  • Care recipients often prefer to communicate with a care worker from their own cultural background therefore the use of bilingual staff or volunteers should be always be considered and provided whenever possible. The care recipient should however be given this choice rather than it be assumed that this is their preference.
  • Provide visual aids, use gestures and physical prompts, and learn and use key words in the person’s own language to improve communication during routine care and other simple service interventions.
  • Ensure that communication is adapted to the care recipient’s level of dementia and understand the importance of allowing more time for those in later stages to understand and respond to you.
  • Support your care recipients' individual choices by providing access to media such as radio, TV, live stream services, DVDs, CDs and books in their preferred language.
  • All staff and volunteers should undertake training in cultural awareness, appropriate communication and the correct use of telephone and on-site interpreting services.

Language and Communication resources

  • Refer to the “Language and Communication, Resources” section below for a wide range of information (including communication cards, signage, health information in community languages, etc.)
  • Translating and Interpreter contact details and other relevant information is available in the "Links, Translating and Interpreting" section. 

Advice and Support

  • Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.

Resources

Generalist

  • Greetings are usually casual and include a handshake and a smile.
  • A smile helps to express the pleasure of meeting the other person.
  • New Zealanders commonly use a person’s first name, however it is best to use their title and surname in the first instance.

Men greeting Men

  • Handshakes are the norm in formal and business settings.
  • A nod of acknowledgment is often used in less formal settings.

Women greeting Women

  • Handshakes are the norm in formal and business settings.
  • A light hug may be used in less formal settings and amongst good friends and family.

Men greeting Women

  • Handshakes are the norm in formal and business settings.
  • A hug may be used amongst good friends and family.

Tips

  • Start building trust and rapport from the first time you meet your care recipient. Ensure you correctly pronounce their name. Smile and speak clearly. Be respectful and make sure the care recipient understands you.
  • Establish and document how your care recipient prefers to be greeted. Take into account; formality, titles, preferred name(s), any different greeting expectations from different genders or from people from a different generation, and the way(s) they like and dislike to be greeted. 
  • Understand that a person with severe dementia will think that each time they see you during the day is for the first time. Therefore ensure that you greet them in an appropriate, friendly and caring manner each time you meet.

Resources

Generalist

  • Most New Zealanders place great importance on manners and politeness and they try not to offend anyone.
  • Elderly New Zealanders may “hint” towards what they mean, if there is a risk of offence to others, however this is not as common amongst the younger generation.
  • New Zealanders generally communicate with friendliness.

Tips

Care recipient

  • Identify the communication style of your care recipient.
  • Be aware that communication styles vary from one culture to another.
  • Realise that physical, sensory, psychological and social issues can impact on the ability to communicate effectively. Make a note of any that are relevant to your care recipient.

Care worker

  • To ensure that the care recipient can understand you avoid speaking too quickly or using slang, acronyms or jargon. Also try not to give too much information at one time.
  • Be aware not to use patronising speech or a demeaning tone as this can lead to a communication breakdown.
  • Remember than non-verbal communication such as body language is just as important as verbal communication. Ensure that your tone matches your body language to avoid miscommunication.
  • Be kind and caring in your communication with the care recipient. Remember the person with dementia has a lifetime of experiences and is a person with feelings, even though may have lost the capacity to think or behave like they used to.

Resources

Generalist

  • New Zealanders generally prefer direct eye contact during conversations.
  • However, prolonged direct eye contact can be considered intimidating or rude.
  • A balance of direct eye contact is commonly used to show interest and sincerity in conversation.
  • Direct eye contact with children is often used to help maintain their attention.
  • Not maintaining eye contact, especially with a boss or elderly person, may be interpreted as being dishonest or hiding something.

Tips

  • Determine and document if the care recipient prefers direct or indirect eye contact and if there are any different expectations from different genders or from people from a different generation.

Resources

Generalist

Non-verbal gestures used in New Zealand include:

  • Raising the eyebrows and tilting the head as an informal greeting. For example; when greeting someone across the road.
  • Pointing and signalling with the index finger extended.
  • Using a thumb facing upwards to express that something is good or to show agreement.
  • Raising the middle and index finger together may be used to express anger or annoyance with someone. Alternatively, it may be used between friends, meaning “whatever”. This gesture is more common than raising the middle finger in isolation, as this is generally only used in situations of extreme anger.

Tips

  • Any gestures you use need to be respectful to the person with dementia.
  • Body language can provide important clues and increased understanding for both the carer and the care recipient. However many gestures have different meanings in different cultures therefore take care to ensure there is no miscommunication.
  • Document any gestures that the care recipient prefers to use or any gestures they find offensive.
  • Determine if the care recipient has expectations from different genders or from people from a different generation in relation to the use of touch. For example; if they find it appropriate/comforting for someone to hold their hand when they are upset or in pain.

Resources

Generalist

  • An arm’s length of personal space is usually considered acceptable during conversations by New Zealanders. This is particularly important in a business setting, when any less space may be considered inappropriate.
  • When speaking with friends or family less personal space is usually acceptable, especially if leaning in to say something private.
  • Women may be more flexible when it comes to personal space during conversations.
  • Men tend to be more protective of their personal space in conversation with other men.
  • Touch in a business setting is generally unacceptable, especially between members of the opposite sex.

Tips

  • Determine and document how the care recipient feels about their personal space and if there are any different expectations from different genders or from people from a different generation.
  • Allow for a “collectivist” person (with a “we” or group attitude) to feel the comfort of doing most things in the space with others (group settings) and for an “individualist” person (with an “I” attitude of self and immediate family) to have opportunities to have personal space for themselves.

Resources

Generalist

  • New Zealanders are generally punctual.
  • Punctuality is considered important, especially in the business setting.
  • Lateness may be viewed as a form of rudeness or disrespect.
  • People will generally call or send a text message if they are running late.
  • New Zealanders give their time freely to help one another out.

Tips

  • Determine and document how the care recipient and the family view “the concept of time”. For example; do they like to be punctual? Do they expect others to be punctual?
  • Ensure the care recipient's concept of time does not adversely impact on meal times, activities and other scheduled events.
  • Be mindful that shaming and blaming someone for being late can cause feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. Instead, use positive communication. For example; you might ask “Would a different time would be more suitable”?

Resources

Generalist

  • New Zealand is very equal society with regard to gender.
  • Women have held many significant roles in New Zealand, including; Prime Minister, Governor General, Chief Justice and Executive Officer positions within major companies.
  • Approximately half of the university students in New Zealand are females.
  • Maori culture and gender roles are distinct (refer to the Maori culture section for further information).

2016 Global Gender Gap Index  rankings

  • New Zealand ranked 9th out of 144 countries for gender equality in 2016.
  • Countries are assigned a score where 0.00 = inequality and 1.00 = equality. New Zealand received a score of 0.782 (World Economic Forum, 2016).

Marriage

  • In New Zealand, you can either be married by a registered marriage celebrant or in a registry office. When you get married you have options to; keep your last name, hyphenate or use a combination of both of your last names, or take your husband, wife or partner’s last name (New Zealand Government).

Same Sex Relationships

  • Same sex marriage has been legal in New Zealand since 19 August 2013 (Equaldex).

Tips

  • For many people with dementia the gender of the care workers is important, particularly in sensitive situations. Determine and document if they have any preferences, concerns or expectations regarding care provided by someone of a different gender.
  • Accept and respect that male-female roles in families may vary significantly among different cultures.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersexed (LGBTI) people with dementia

  • Don’t assume the gender preference of the person with dementia.
  • Recognise that even those that have children may not be completely heterosexual and understand that it could take some time for a care recipient to gain enough trust to share personal information about their gender preference.
  • Begin by evaluating yourself and any assumptions, phobias, biases or beliefs that you might hold internally.
  • Utilise resources and attend training sessions to increase your own knowledge about LGBTI people.
  • Understand the importance of your first and immediate reaction or response. Be aware of your own reactions - not only what you think, but also be aware of what you say and what body language you use.
  • Most LGBTI people have experienced rejection, stigma, discrimination and abuse and therefore have a fear of receiving inadequate treatment, being denied services or facing further discrimination or prejudice. It is vitally important to create a non-judgmental open and caring atmosphere free from discrimination. Confidentiality is also a vital aspect of care for LGBTI care recipients.
  • Be careful with the terminology you use to the care recipient and their partners.
  • Provide partners of LGBTI care recipients with the same respect and privileges that you would give to a spouse or relative.   

Resources

Generalist

World Alzheimer’s Day

  • Every year on 21 September, Alzheimer associations around the world unite to acknowledge World Alzheimer’s Day. The aim of the day is to make a difference for people with dementia, their families and carers worldwide.

Dementia in New Zealand

  • A study revealed that two out of three New Zealanders know or have known someone with dementia (mainly a family member) and a third of respondents have been directly involved with care giving to a person living with dementia (Alzheimer’s New Zealand, 2014).
  • However, there were still misconceptions amongst half of the respondents indicating further information is needed regarding the condition. (Alzheimer’s New Zealand, 2014).
  • International research suggests that New Zealanders are generally better informed, more accepting and less fearful of dementia than others around the world.

Tips

  • The amount of understanding and acceptance of dementia may vary significantly among different cultures, families and individuals. Determine the understanding of dementia of the care recipient and their family, if they accept dementia and if stigma is associated.
  • Provide information to the care recipient and their family according to their language preference and literacy level.
  • Ensure that people with dementia and their families are aware of dementia information and of support services available.

Dementia resources

  • A wide range of information is available in the Attitudes and understanding of dementia disability and illness, resources section below.
  • Contact details for Alzheimer’s Australia offices are available in the “Links, Alzheimer’s Australia offices” section of this app.

Advice and Support

  • Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.

Resources

Generalist

  • Most New Zealanders prefer to remain at homes rather than move into residential care.
  • In the event that care needs are too great to remain at home, New Zealanders will often reluctantly agree to relocate into residential care.

Tips

  • The meaning or value of residential or community care may vary greatly among cultures.
  • Be aware that many people will not want to hear about or talk about residential care until crisis point.
  • Understand that families and friends from different cultures will have different expectations for the care of people, particularly in regards to toileting, dressing, feeding and other self-help skills.
  • Allow the care recipient and their family to make choices to suit the individual’s care needs.
  • Ask care recipients questions about what can be done to achieve quality of life and help them have meaningful lives that enable them to pursue their cultural interests and passions in accordance with any frailty, disability or cognitive impairment.
  • Understand and facilitate all achievable care expectations of the care recipient and their family.

Resources

Generalist

  • Most New Zealanders see pain as a bad thing and getting rid of it a good thing.
  • Pain behaviour studies suggest there is a need to be cautious of ethnic or cultural stereotypes. Therefore, even though there are findings of general cultural differences it is considered very important to evaluate the pain of each person individually.
  • Clinical recommendations regarding pain treatment are available in the “Attitudes to pain Resources” section of this app.

Tips

  • Research indicates that pain and discomfort are frequently under reported and under treated amongst people with dementia.
  • Ensure care recipients and their family understand pain relief medication and treatment options by providing information in their preferred language and in accordance with their language ability.
  • Religion and culture may influence your care recipients pain experience including; their pain expression, pain language, remedies for pain, social roles and expectations and perceptions of the medical care system.
  • Understand that for some religious or spiritual beliefs, fate and/or karma may mean that your care recipient also believes their illness and pain are caused by a higher power.
  • Care recipients may feel it is important to accept their pain in order to demonstrate their religious / spiritual faith. This may also impact their request for pain medication and treatment.
  • Identify and support the cultural and religious impact on the acceptability of certain treatments and medications.
  • Identify, respect and document how your care recipient and their family view and express pain.
  • Pay particular attention to verbal expressions of pain during later stages of dementia and ensure adequate treatment is provided.

Resources

Generalist

  • There is a lack of advanced planning in New Zealand and people don't usually talk about end of life, so families are often left to make decisions.
  • Funerals in New Zealand are often held in churches or funeral homes.
  • Services are often celebrations of life, with personal anecdotes, photo boards and/or slide shows about the deceased.
  • Maori people have certain customs surrounding death (see Maori culture for further details).

Tips

  • Understand that attitudes to end of life care, death and dying are diverse and may include a range of factors such as cultural and religious beliefs.
  • Be aware that the acceptance of certain treatments and medications are likely to be impacted upon by cultural and religious factors.
  • Identify and support “end of life choices” of care recipients and their family. Note: these are formally known as “Advanced Care Directives” or “Advanced Care Planning” depending on the state or territory in Australia that you are in. Ensure their choices are documented and strictly followed.
  • Ensure the linguistic needs of care recipients are addressed in end of life religious and spiritual support.
  • Ensure family members have access to appropriate resources and support in their preferred language and in accordance with their language ability.

Resources

Generalist

  • Raising the middle finger is offensive.
  • Swearing is also considered rude.
  • Language that is sexist and/or racist is discouraged.

Tips

  • “Manners” and “taboo” expectations and beliefs may vary greatly among cultures resulting in differing emotions and behaviours in your care recipient.
  • Be aware of your own beliefs and expectations of “manners” and “taboo” beliefs and how these may differ to those of your care recipient.
  • Be aware of judging other people's behaviour, expectations and beliefs according to the standards of your own culture.
  • Be aware that the care recipient may judge your behaviour according to the standard of their own culture.
  • It is important to recognise, accept and document individual interpretations of “manners” and “taboo” expectations and beliefs of your care recipient and their family.

Resources

Generalist

  • There are many similarities between the superstitions in New Zealand and the UK as New Zealand was once a British colony. One example of a common belief is that Friday the 13th is unlucky. However, this superstition, as with many others, is taken light-heartedly.

Tips

  • Superstitions may be considered as old wives’ tales, family traditions or have a significant meaning and be taken seriously.
  • Be aware of your own beliefs and how these may differ to those of your care recipient.
  • Be aware of judging other people's superstitious beliefs according to the standards of your own culture.
  • Be aware that the care recipient may judge your beliefs according to the standard of their own culture.
  • It is important to recognise, accept and document individual interpretations of superstitious beliefs.

Resources

Generalist

  • The New Zealand diet before 1975 consisted of meat, potatoes, seasonal fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy products and fish. Chicken was a delicacy served in restaurants and the meat pie was the favourite fast food.
  • More recently, cuisine has opened to the world and includes; tropical fruits, vegetables and exotic spices. International foods are available at the supermarket.
  • Kiwi fruit (also known as Chinese gooseberry) is commonly consumed by locals and is also a major horticultural export earner.
  • A range of fast foods and restaurants also offer a variety of cuisines.
  • The Sunday roast is often still served.

Dining Etiquette

  • Table manners are used and formal occasions are accompanied with stricter manners.
  • Hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right.
  • Elbows should be kept off the table, and hands should be above the table when eating.
  • A symbol that a meal is finished is to place the knife and fork parallel on the plate with the handles facing to the right.

Tips

  • Food is an important aspect of cultural identity, therefore it is important to identify food preferences, likes and dislikes including eating habits, meal times, preferred setting, preferred eating utensils etc.
  • Identify and facilitate cultural food when possible and ensure the impact of religion on food services is documented, adhered to and regularly reviewed.
  • Provide menu choices and food services information in the preferred language of care recipients, or with pictures if the person has difficulty reading. 
  • Consider alternative ways to facilitate culturally appropriate food such as; obtaining recipes from family/friends, specific meal delivery services, community groups, seniors’ clubs, or and/or other clubs.
  • Ensure that the care recipient is given food choices throughout all stages of dementia.

Food and diet resources

  • A wide range of information (including religious food requirements, nutrition information and recipes) is available in the “Food and diet resources” section below.

Advice and Support

  • Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.

Resources

Generalist

  • A person-centred care approach helps organisations provide accessible, responsive and flexible services that meet the diverse needs and preferences of people living with dementia in our community. 
  • Many people with dementia want to remain independent for as long as possible and rely on the community care system to help them achieve this.
  • New Zealanders of European descent (also known as Pakeha), may use an alternative medical system based on the interaction between the physical and nonphysical.
  • Natural medicines are available in health shops throughout New Zealand, and pharmaceutical medicines are available in pharmacies.

Tips

  • Identify and document the care needs of your care recipient and continuously re-evaluate how their dementia progression affects their care needs.
  • Make every effort to understand a dementia behaviour before attempting to manage it, as you will often discover that what lies behind it is a genuine attempt to communicate an unmet need.  

Care information resources

  • A wide range of information is available (e.g. personal hygiene, sleeping, incontinence etc.) in the “Care information, resources” below.
  • Advice and Support - Seek advice and support from the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) if required – phone 1800 699 799.
  • Employee/employer resources - A range of information is available under “Links – Other useful weblinks”.

Resources

Generalist

Classes and Castes

  • New Zealand is no longer classed as a welfare state, and is a society based on income.
  • There is a well-established class society in New Zealand based on income.
  • Poverty exists in some areas including ethnic groups such as Maori and Pacific Islanders, as well as some New Zealanders of European descent.

New Zealander Demeanour

  • New Zealanders are generally friendly and polite, and enjoy being hospitable.
  • New Zealanders often move to a first name basis quite quickly.
  • Dress is usually neat and casual and business attire is generally conservative.

Tips

  • Everyone has “culture”. This includes a number of factors such as ethnicity, identity, age, gender, education, sexual orientation, ability/disability, values, beliefs, attitudes etc.
  • Recognise your own cultural traits and influences and be mindful not to judge other people’s behaviour and beliefs according to the standard of your own culture.
  • Be aware that your care recipient may judge your behaviour and beliefs according to the standard of their own culture.
  • Your care recipient may be “similar to others” but “no two people are the same” so take care not to generalise or make assumptions about them. Gain general cultural information from resources to assist with conversations to allow you to identify your care recipient’s individual cultural traits.
  • Understand and document how your care recipient’s individual cultural traits impact their care needs.
  • Increase your knowledge about different cultural practices and issues through resources, cultural background information sessions and/or cultural awareness training.

Cultural Traits resources

  • Find information (such as guides and cultural profiles created by other organisations) in the “Cultural Traits, resources” section below.
  • You will also find information including; links to community contacts, cultural profiles, useful weblinks etc. in the “Links” section of the app.

Resources

Generalist

  • Easter is celebrated in New Zealand.
  • The date Easter is celebrated depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.
  • Christians generally attend church services, observing the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Devout Christians may also fast during Lent.
  • People tend to be with their family over the Easter weekend, as Good Friday and Easter Sunday are public holidays in New Zealand.
  • The Royal Easter Show is held in Auckland over the Easter Weekend. This is New Zealand’s largest annual family festival and includes rides, carnival stalls, hotdogs and candy floss.
  • New Zealanders hold Easter egg hunts for the children and enjoy symbolic Easter delicacies including hot cross buns and Easter eggs, as well as seasonal produce.

Tips

  • Understand the importance of Easter to your care recipient and accept and respect that customs and beliefs about Easter are different from culture to culture.
  • Identify, document and support any spiritual/religious needs of your care recipients.
  • Identify, document and facilitate any dietary requirements.

Resources

Generalist

  • Christmas is celebrated in New Zealand on the 25th of December.
  • The Christmas period falls during the summer holidays in New Zealand.
  • New Zealanders often put up Christmas trees in their homes to celebrate.
  • Families generally gather on Christmas Day, exchange gifts and share Christmas lunch. This is often a roast turkey or a barbecue which includes; meat such as ham, exotic meats and seafood.
  • Christmas desserts are popular in New Zealand. These include fruit pudding served hot with custard and ice cream. Cold desserts such as Pavlova, fruit salad, jelly and ice cream are also popular.

Tips

  • Understand the importance of Christmas to your care recipient and accept and respect that customs and beliefs about Christmas are different from culture to culture.
  • Identify, document and support any spiritual/religious needs of your care recipients.
  • Identify, document and facilitate any dietary requirements.

Resources

Generalist

  • New Year is celebrated from the 31st of December until the 2nd of January in New Zealand.
  • Celebrations include; countdowns until the New Year, visiting family and friends, music festivals, beach parties, camping festivals, parties and fireworks.
  • Both the 1st and 2nd of January are public holidays in New Zealand.
  • A range of events are held on New Year’s Day including; horse racing carnivals and summer day fairs. Cricket is also watched by many New Zealanders on New Year’s Day.

Tips

  • Understand the importance of New Year to your care recipient and accept and respect that customs and beliefs about New Year are different from culture to culture.
  • Identify, document and support any spiritual/religious needs of your care recipients.
  • Identify, document and facilitate any dietary requirements.

Resources

Generalist

  • 6th of February – Waitangi Day

This Public holiday is New Zealand’s national day and marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi by the British and the Maori chiefs. The signing enabled British colonisation of New Zealand. It is a day of protest as well as celebration.

  • 25th April – Anzac Day

Commemorates the landing of New Zealand and Australian troops (known collectively as ‘Anzacs’) at Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey in 1915. The campaign failed, however the Anzacs strengthened their bond during this period.

  • 2nd Wednesday in October -  Labour Day

This public holiday marks the success of a campaign to have the eight hour working day extended across all industries. Traditionally, there were big parades, followed by picnics and sporting competitions. However, these traditions are no longer followed and people simply enjoy a public holiday.

Tips

  • Understand the importance of any significant days to your care recipient and accept and respect that customs and beliefs about special days are different from culture to culture.
  • Identify, document and support any spiritual/religious needs of your care recipients.
  • Identify, document and facilitate any dietary requirements.

Resources

Generalist

  • Sport and recreation activities that are popular amongst older New Zealanders include; walking, gardening, swimming, bowls, equipment-based exercise, fishing, golf, dance and cycling.
  • Other popular activities include; watching television, listening to the radio, reading, visiting galleries and museums, doing craft and taking part in cultural and religious events.

Reminiscence                                                                                                                                                     

  • Smell or taste - Using smell kits or different foods. Suggestions include: lamb, kiwi fruit, vanilla, honeycomb and golden syrup.             
  • Sight - Photographs, cookbooks, slides, films, painting pictures, looking at objects. (Refer to the “Cultural activities resource” section for some visual ideas).          
  • Touch - Touching objects, feeling textures, painting and pottery. Pampering, massage hands, etc. (if it is considered culturally appropriate by the care recipient and they trust you to do this without being intrusive).
  • Sound - Personalised playlists, listening to familiar tunes from the radio, CD's, YouTube, listening to cultural performances, or making music using various instruments. (Refer to the “Music resources” section for some music ideas).

Resources

Generalist

Traditional music

  • Maori music includes chanting and instruments known as “taonga pūoro (made out of hollowed-out wood, stone, whale ivory, and bone), and they  can be blown, struck and twirled.
  • European settlers introduced new music to New Zealand, including; brass bands and choral music.
  • Pipe bands also became common throughout New Zealand in the early 20th century.

Modern music

  • New Zealand music has been influenced by blues, jazz, country, rock and roll and hip hop.
  • Internationally renowned New Zealand artists include; Bic Runga, Brooke Fraser, Crowded House, Fat Freddy's Drop, Flight of the Conchords, Kimbra, Ladyhawke, Lorde, OMC, Savage, Split Enz and The Naked and Famous.
  • New Zealand has a national orchestra as well as regional orchestras.
  • Internationally renowned New Zealand composers include; Douglas Lilburn, Gareth Farr, Gillian Whitehead, Jack Body, Jenny McLeod, John Psathas, Martin Lodge and Ross Harris.

Tips

  • Music is the most powerful universal language.
  • Music provides an external rhythm and can restore a person back to themselves, and to others, at least for a while.
  • People tend to remain contactable as musical beings on some level right up to the very end of life.
  • It is important to understand your care recipient’s music likes and dislikes and to provide them with their choice of music to listen to.
  • Create a personalised music playlist for your care recipient for their maximum benefit and enjoyment.
  • Provide opportunities for the person with dementia to watch live music performances.
  • Providing music a person relates to can have a wide range of benefits to the care recipient. Benefits may include; helping to improve their mood, responses, memory function, increase social interaction, improve verbal and non-verbal communication and restore a sense of identity.

Resources