Have stayed in a number of different motels in New Zealand and not one has had a table lamp in the seating area. A few have had lamps by the bed, but most were attached to it. Are they exceptionally afraid of electricity, or guest theft?

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    This is entirely random speculation, but earthquakes are a hazard in much of New Zealand, so big heavy lamps that could fall on you in bed might be the kind of thing best avoided. That doesn't really explain a lack of lamps elsewhere in the room though. Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 7:48
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    I have used hotels in Europe and North America and almost non of those had table lamp in the seating area. So NZ is not different in my view.
    – Willeke
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 15:21
  • We have a nice folding LED lamp that runs off a USB port (power bank, AC adapter, or a computer port). We use it for board gaming, but such a lamp would make a nice reading lamp during travels, too. Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 19:23
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    Are you talking Hotels (in the question title) or Motels (in the question body)? I've stayed in a lot of hotels in NZ and can't think of many that did not have table lamps. I've stayed in some motels in NZ and would suggest that this probably isn't in the motel "required" budget
    – Midavalo
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


There are a number of factors.

  • Cost: motels are typically run at a lower budget than hotels, and consequently can't afford nearly all of the fittings that one might expect elsewhere.

  • Necessity: motels are typically booked for sleeping and eating reasons, and not much else. Lamps are not a productive use of the limited budget.

  • Security: along with the low need and high cost, the risk of losing or having damage occur through the action of guests isn't worthwhile.

  • Safety: yes, New Zealand does have a stringent code against risks in the event of an earthquake, and lamps pose both an electrical and a falling object hazard.

  • Culture: perhaps most importantly, "lamps for the lounge" aren't a thing in New Zealand. A New Zealander will tell you to turn the lights on if you can't see well enough -an additional separate lamp is seen as a waste.

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