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.
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.
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.
$5 and $10 notes started circulating from October 2015.
$20s, $50s and $100s are expected to come into circulation during May 2016.
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:
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:
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.
A number of changes should help people with low vision identify the different 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.
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.
Canadian Banknote Company (CBN) designed and prints the new banknotes at its plant in Ottawa, Canada.
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.