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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 Kōkako - 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 50.

Sir Apirana Ngata

(1874 – 1950)

Sir Apirana Ngata played a significant role in the revival of Māori people and culture during the early years of the twentieth century.

He was the first Māori to graduate from a New Zealand university, and an elected Member of Parliament for 38 years.

Ko Tā Apirana Ngata te taniwha nāna i kawe whakamua te iwi Māori, me te ao Māori i ngā tau tuatahi o te rau tau rua tekau.

Ko Tā Apirana te tangata Māori tuatahi kia tohia ki tētahi whare wānanga i Aotearoa, ā, i pōtitia ia ki te Whare Pāremata me te noho tonu i reira mō te 38 tau.

Tukutuku panel


This Tukutuku pattern is known as Poutama and means stairway to heaven. It is a feature in the Porourangi meeting house.

Ko Poutama te ingoa o tēnei tukutuku, arā, ko te pikinga ki ngā rangi. He tauira tēnei i roto i te wharenui o Porourangi.

Porourangi Meeting House

Porourangi Meeting House was first built in 1888, designed by Major Rōpata Wahawaha.

The meeting house is significant for the Ngata family. It stands alongside the original Ngata family home and Waiomatatini Marae, near Ruatōria, and is a showcase for Māori art.

I hangaia te wharenui o Porourangi i te tau 1888, he mea hoahoa nā Meiha Rōpata Wahawaha. He tino whare tēnei ki te whānau Ngata.

E tū ngātahi ana tēnei whare, te whare o te whānau Ngata me te marae o Waiomatatini, i te takiwā o Ruatōria, ā, he tino whakakitenga ātaahua mō ngā toi Māori.

Sky-blue mushroom

Entoloma hochstetteri

Sky-blue mushroom (Entoloma hochstetteri) grows throughout New Zealand. It is notable for its bright blue colour, which fades with age.

Pureora Forest Park

Pureora Forest Park is located in the central North Island and stretches for 78,000 hectares.

This significant remnant of podocarp forest is home to a large population of kōkako.

North Island Kōkako

Callaeas cinerea

The North Island kōkako or blue-wattled crow (Callaeas wilsoni) is a relatively large songbird with a distinctive bluish-grey body with a black face ‘mask' and sky blue wattles.

The South Island kōkako, which has orange wattles, may be extinct.