The Reserve Bank Museum
Please refer to the new Reserve Bank of New Zealand Museum website: http://www.rbnzmuseum.govt.nz.
The Reserve Bank museum celebrates and records New Zealand's economic and banking heritage.
It is the first museum of its type in New Zealand, and was developed during 2006 by the Reserve Bank and consultants 3D Creative. A blend of artefacts, graphics, diagrams - even a simulated vault door - are designed to appeal to those interested in the history of our economy, the role played by the central bank and in learning more about our currency and the way in which it has evolved.
Reserve Bank of New Zealand Museum is located at 2 The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand. It is open from 9.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday. Over the summer (January-February), the museum is also open on Saturdays from 9.30am-4.00pm, otherwise closed on weekends and public holidays. Please call the Museum Administrator on 64 4 471 3682 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for queries or to confirm opening hours.
The museum is not just about the Reserve Bank or currency; it also shows how New Zealand's economy works and highlights the Bank's role in it. Displays describe how New Zealand's economic history developed from the pre-European barter period through to today's globally integrated environment. Other sections cover the broad development of banks, the way banking regulation has evolved over the years, and the way today's financial system came about. One highlight is the real-time Bloomberg display, offering a glimpse into the ongoing operation of New Zealand's financial markets.
The Bank owns a collection of interesting artefacts. Selected items are on display in the museum, including the Bank's grandfather clock; the first cheque we ever issued; leather-bound ledgers; promissory notes issued by Governor FitzRoy in 1844; and a sealing machine - we have the wax too.
Above (from left to right): one pound note issued by the Bank of Aotearoa, early 1880s; ten shilling note issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 1934; merchants' token issued in 1858 in lieu of circulating coins; one pound note issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 1934.
The museum displays a range of selected items from our note and coin collection. The Reserve Bank has had authority over note issue since establishment in 1934, and acquired authority over New Zealand's coinage in 1989 as part of the general reform and rationalisation of government services. Another display reveals the life-cycle of a typical bank note today.
The origins and history of the Reserve Bank are covered in a series of displays that detail the changing role of the Bank from its foundation in 1934 through to the present day.
The walls of the museum display general and currency timelines; some scales and balances from our collection, and economic information. The picture window facing Bowen Street displays an impressive enlargement of a polymer bank note, clearly showing some of the security features.
The museum contains a range of audio-visual and interactive displays, including interviews with Bank staff and influential economists, and short film clips.
If you would like a printable copy of this page, please download the Reserve Bank Museum fact sheet (PDF 215KB)
Reserve Bank of New Zealand Museum website: http://www.rbnzmuseum.govt.nz.