Auckland stars in survey of politeness

By Angela Gregory

Small businesses in Auckland have come out tops in a global survey of politeness.

The Reader's Digest global courtesy survey of 35 cities around the world showed a 100 per cent strike rate in a selection of small shops in Auckland that thanked customers for making their purchase.

The global average was 75 per cent.

Central city shop assistant Haytham Hamid yesterday thanked a Herald reporter for buying a box of tissues, after leaving the counter to point out exactly where a selection could be found. He also put the tissues in a bag without being asked.

Mr Hamid, from Sudan, said he always thanked customers no matter how small the purchase.

"I also say 'Have a good day' or 'See you later' and give them a smile."

Hamish Ludbrook, a regular customer at the Citymart store on Wyndham St, confirmed the staff were very polite.

"They are very friendly, always tell me to have a good day."

In the overall courtesy ratings, including for holding doors open and helping someone pick up dropped papers, Auckland finished seventh out of the 35 cities.

Sydney came in a distant 23rd.

Reader's Digest sent undercover reporters from its editions in each country to assess politeness in its most populous city. Around the world citizens were on average slightly more likely than not to pass the tests (55 per cent passed).

Aucklanders scored a 67 per cent pass rate.

They finished in the top 10 for all categories except for holding doors open, particularly in the younger age groups.

Less than half (45 per cent) of Aucklanders surveyed held a door open. In this category the city was ranked 20th.


1. New York.

2. Zurich.

3. Toronto.

4= Berlin, Zagreb, Sao Paulo.

7= Auckland, Warsaw.

9. Mexico City.

10. Stockholm.

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