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New Zealand is upgrading its banknotes.

The new notes will be the same sizes and denominations as the current banknotes, and they will continue to be made of flexible plastic. 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 $5 and $10 notes were released in October 2015, with the $20, $50 and $100 notes targeted for May 2016. You will still be able to use the current notes as well as the 'Brighter Money' notes.

Since our current banknotes were first issued in 1999, security features and the technology for designing and printing banknotes have all advanced considerably. And while counterfeiting rates here in New Zealand are low compared to the rest of the world, we need to stay one step ahead of the game.

'Brighter Money' includes improved security features, vibrant imagery, and innovative design.


Explore $5 note Explore $10 note

Colour change

Security feature

Check the colour changing blue duck - as you move the note, the colour inside the bird changes and a bar rolls diagonally across the bird shape.

Holographic window

Security feature

Check the transparent window and hologram inside – as you spin the note, colours appear inside the new, larger window.

You will see a silver fern, map of New Zealand and the same bird featured on the note. A number is embossed into the bottom of the window.

Raised ink

Security feature

You can feel raised print on the large numbers and words "Reserve Bank of New Zealand Te Pūtea Matua" and "New Zealand Aotearoa".

Puzzle number

Security feature

Check the puzzle number - holding the note up to the light will make the irregular shapes on the front and the back of the note line up to show the number 10.

Kate Sheppard

(1848 - 1934)

Kate Sheppard was a prominent leader of the campaign to give women the vote in New Zealand. She worked tirelessly to organise and promote this cause.

A long campaign culminated in 1893, when New Zealand became the first country in the world where all adults could vote in general elections.

Tukutuku panel

Mangaroa (purapura whetu)

This pattern is mangaroa or the Milky Way star constellation (also known as purapura whetu).

This pattern represents the stars. In one tradition these are the stars used to navigate to Aotearoa and symbolise the finding of a new direction. In another tradition the multitude of stars in the heavens reflect the multitude of people in Aotearoa: Māori and Pakeha, men and women.

Te ingoa o tēnei tauira ko Te Mangaroa (tētahi o ōna ingoa ko purapura whetū).

Hei tūtohu tēnei tauira mō ngā whetū. Ki tētahi kōrero ā-iwi, koia ēnei ngā whetū nāna i taki mai ngā waka ki Aotearoa, ā, noho tonu iho hei tohu mō te rapunga huarahi hou. Ki tētahi atu kōrero ā-iwi, hei tohu te tini whetū i te rangi mō te tini o ngā iwi kei Aotearoa: Māori mai, Pākehā mai, tāne mai, wāhine mai.

White camellia

camellia japonica 'alba plena'

In 1893 white camellias were given to Members of Parliament who had supported the bill to give New Zealand universal suffrage.

The flower has become a symbol of the fight for the vote by New Zealand women. The flower on the $10 note is Camellia japonica 'alba plena'.

Pineapple scrub

Dracophyllum Menziesii

Pineapple scrub is a shrub in the heath family whose leaves resemble those of pineapple. It grows in the south-western South Island, and Stewart Island.

The scientific name honours Archibald Menzies who collected plants from Fiordland in 1791.

New Zealand Kiokio

Blechnum novae-zelandiae

This is a very common fern throughout New Zealand and is found in various places including riverbanks and regularly lining roadside cuttings.

Young fronds can be tinged red.

Blue Duck/Whio

Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos

The whio is an endangered species which is found mainly in mountainous areas of New Zealand. This species is almost always seen in pairs or family groups which tend to live on the same river for most of their lives.

The whio was the first New Zealand bird species to be absolutely protected, in February 1903. Habitat degradation and introduced predators (notably stoats) are recognised as the primary threats to the whio's survival.