As expectations regarding good manners differ from person to person and vary according to each situation, no treatise on the rules of etiquette nor any list of faux pas can ever be complete. As the perception of behaviors and actions vary, intercultural competence is essential. However, a lack of knowledge about the customs and expectation of people in Australia and New Zealand can make even the best intentioned person seem illiterate, introspective, or worse.
Australia and New Zealand are separate countries, each with its own distinct national identity that includes particular customs and rules of etiquette. Confusing their identities in general conversation is usually not tolerated and will be quickly corrected. Points of etiquette that apply to both countries include the following:
When meeting friends or new people and when leaving the company of friends or people who one has just met it is becoming less common to require the handshake to be firm, though many are still offended by a 'limp' handshake. Giving someone a limp handshake is referred to as giving someone a "dead fish" and is often viewed with derision, especially in country areas. A quick clasping of hands may be OK for younger people. However, it is always respectful to make eye contact when you shake hands.