More info

Thanks for visiting the site and exploring our new, brighter banknotes. We’re pleased to continue New Zealand’s record of using sophisticated technology to protect the value of our currency, while retaining the iconic features that relate to New Zealand’s identity.

You can explore the stories behind our notes in the main section of the site, or get more information about the release of the new banknotes below.

Why have our banknotes been upgraded?

The Reserve Bank regularly reviews and improves New Zealand’s banknotes to ensure their security features are updated. With technology constantly evolving, it's important our banknotes keep up, to help ensure counterfeiting levels remain low.

The reason for the updated security features is to make it harder to counterfeit our notes – but easier for you to check them.

Download the security guide.

Which notes have been upgraded?

All our notes have been upgraded – that’s all of New Zealand’s $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes. Our coins, however, will stay the same.

When will the new notes start circulating?

$5 and $10 notes started circulating from October 2015.

$20s, $50s and $100s are expected to come into circulation during May 2016.

What differences will we notice in the new notes?

The new notes have a brighter, clearer design, with the notes' value shown in larger print and greater colour contrast between notes. Some things will stay the same: the notes will stay the same size as they are now, and will still have the same flexible, plastic feel.

The themes of the notes remain the same, with the same respected New Zealanders, the Queen, and flora and fauna remaining central to the designs. The contribution each has made to the unique culture of New Zealand is still as important as ever. To enhance this even further, the new notes make more use of te reo Māori to identify them:

  • Aotearoa – the Māori name for New Zealand
  • Te Pūtea Matua – the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Māori name
  • The names of the native birds on the reverse of the notes (hoiho, whio, kārearea, kōkako, mohua) will continue to be written in Māori.

What are the new security features?

A key feature of the new banknotes is that the security elements are even easier for you to identify. Several are brand new, and we've also enhanced some existing ones:

  • A larger window features a more detailed metallic element
  • The native bird icon changes colour as the note is tilted, and a bar can be seen moving through the space
  • A small ‘puzzle number’ lines up when the note is held up to the light
  • Raised ink is still used on the large denomination number.

View all the features in detail.

What should I do with a suspicious note?

If you’re given a note you think does not have all the security features, it’s important to avoid handling it (so the police can trace the counterfeiter). Either refuse to accept the note or store it in a bag or envelope, then inform the police immediately.

More information.

What features do the new notes have to help blind and low vision people?

A number of changes should help people with low vision identify the different notes:

  • The colours are brighter and there’s a greater contrast between the different notes
  • The note’s value is written in a larger numeral
  • The overall design is clearer, making the notes easier to read.

More details for blind and low vision people.

Can I still use my current notes?

Yes. The existing notes will remain in use after the new notes are introduced. Both sets will be legal tender for the foreseeable future. This means banks and retailers can accept the old and new notes, and may give both out as change.

Will the new banknotes work in ATMs and banknote equipment?

For the majority of banknote equipment - yes. The Reserve Bank has been working with banks and manufacturers of banknote equipment to ensure they're well prepared for the changes, and the introduction of new notes happens as seamlessly as possible.

Who made the new notes?

Canadian Banknote Company (CBN) designed and prints the new banknotes at its plant in Ottawa, Canada.

Read the full design story.

How do I get a new banknote?

The new $5 and $10 notes are in circulation now. $20, $50 and $100 notes will be released in May 2016 and will come into circulation faster, as they are dispensed by ATMs and get banked more frequently.