Reproducing images of banknotes and coins
Please read the following if you intend reproducing images of New Zealand’s currency.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, 1989, restricts reproduction of banknotes, coins and the issue of "money-like products". Other relevant legislation includes the Crimes Act 1961 (governing counterfeiting and uttering), The Fair Trading Act 1986 (misleading conduct and false advertising) and the Securities Act 1978 (issuing debt securities).
A banknote or coin may be described as any document (or stamped piece of metal), that is, or is intended to be, used or circulated as a means of exchange between genuine purchasers and which is denominated into units of account (such as dollars).
The intention of this legislation is to protect the integrity of New Zealand's money, allowing the public to have confidence in the currency and limiting the risk that the public will be misled by counterfeits or imitations.
Under Section 25 of the Act, the Reserve Bank is the sole organisation authorised to issue currency for New Zealand.
The Bank does not permit the production or reproduction of notes and coins likely to be mistaken for the real thing, or which use components of the real design.
Any person or organisation intending to make or issue anything that may have the characteristics of a banknote or coin, and are not sure of the legal position, should seek legal advice.
Nothing in this section should be taken to supersede the provisions of the Act.
- Subject to users complying with the provisions of the Reserve Bank Act 1989, summarised below, the Reserve Bank has no objection to the reproduction of scaled, one-sided images of notes and coins, complete, in books, brochures or on screen typically for educational, informational or illustrative purposes.
The scaling must be more than 125% or less than 75% of the real thing.
The material on which the image is printed must not be so similar to the real thing as to be liable to be mistaken for it.
- The Reserve Bank has no objection to artists or photographers including banknotes or coins in a larger picture or photograph, where this is incidental to the main subject of the picture, and where usages comply per (1) above.
- The Reserve Bank has no objection to images of notes being reproduced, complete, in animated form, for artistic or advertorial purposes, providing these comply with (1) above.
- The Reserve Bank has no power to grant permission to reproduce component details of note and coin designs in isolation.
- The Reserve Bank does not grant permission for defaced images of notes or coin to be reproduced, for example, where the portrait is replaced by another person for advertorial purposes.
The purpose of Sections 29 and 30 is to prevent the manufacture or issue of any item which may be exchanged as currency in place of legal tender issued by the Reserve Bank.
(1) No person shall make or issue any bank note or coin, other than a bank note or coin issued under this Act.
(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence against this Act and shall be liable on conviction on indictment,—
(a) in the case of an individual, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding $100,000:
(b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $300,000.
(1) No person shall, without the prior consent of the Bank,—
(a) make, design, engrave, print, or reproduce; or
(b) use, issue, or publish—
any article or thing resembling a bank note or coin or so nearly resembling or having such a likeness to a bank note or coin as to be likely to be confused with or mistaken for it.
(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence against this Act.
(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence against subsection (2), the court may order—
(a) the article or thing:
(b) any copy of it:
(c) any plates, blocks, dies, and other instruments used or capable of being used for printing or reproducing it—
in the possession of that person to be destroyed.