Using images of currency

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 restricts the reproduction of banknotes and coins and the issue of ‘money-like products’. This section contains more information and guidelines which may be useful if you are planning to reproduce images of banknotes.
 Last updated 1 September 2015
The Act governing currency issue in New Zealand
The Act governing currency issue in New Zealand
Understand the restrictions on reproducing currency or money-like products.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 restricts the reproduction of banknotes and coins and the issue of ‘money-like products’. This legislation aims to protect the integrity of New Zealand’s money, allowing the public to have confidence in the value of the currency and limiting the risk that the public will be misled by counterfeits or imitations of money.

Legislation

Legislation regarding the reproduction of banknotes, coins and the issue of "money-like products" is outlined in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, 1989.

Read the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, 1989

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.

In particular:

  • Section 28: a person must not deliberately deface, disfigure or mutilate any banknote without the permission of the Bank.
  • Section 30: A person must not make, design or reproduce, issue, use or publish anything resembling a banknote or coin or having such likeness that it could be mistaken for a real banknote or coin.

Other relevant legislation is the Crimes Act 1961 which prohibits counterfeiting.

Read the Crimes Act 1961

Guidelines

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand consents to the use of reproductions and images of New Zealand banknotes and coins under sections 28 and 30 as long as they fall within acceptable guidelines.

Members of the public do not need to approach the Bank for permission if the guidelines are followed.

Reproductions acceptable to the Reserve Bank

  1. Reproduction of complete, scaled, one-sided images of notes and coins, in books, brochures or on screen typically for educational, informational or illustrative purposes. (See ‘Visual attributes and dimensions for images' for further guidance.)
  2. Images of notes being reproduced, complete, in animated form, for artistic or advertorial purposes, providing these comply with (1) above.
  3. 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 use complies with the above.

Unacceptable reproductions for which consent will not be given

  1. Defaced reproduction of images, for example, where the portrait is replaced by another person for advertorial purposes.
  2. Reproduction of notes and coins intended to mislead or which could reasonably be mistaken for an actual banknote or coin.
  3. Reproduction of images that use components of the designs or images used on any coin issued in New Zealand as legal tender at any time.

Please note that nothing in the guidelines above should be taken to supersede the provisions of the Act. Persons and entities choosing to reproduce or create images of New Zealand banknotes should consult the relevant legislation.

Considerations

  • Persons and entities choosing to reproduce images of New Zealand banknotes and/or coins should carefully consider the nature of the reproduction or image and the context in which it is proposed to be used before proceeding.
  • Persons and entities making reproductions of banknote designs should also be aware that the Reserve Bank is the copyright owner of the notes design, while copyright in the individual images used on the note may be held by third parties.

Visual attributes and dimensions for images

Image library

The Bank has developed a family of Series 7 banknote images designed for use for educational, informational or illustrative purposes.

Images in this gallery are available for non-commercial use only. These images can be used and reproduced provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The photographs are reproduced accurately and without alterations
  2. Component details of banknote and coin designs are not reproduced in isolation
  3. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is identified as the source
  4. 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
  5. You do not imply that your particular use of the photographs is done in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

If you intend to reproduce images of New Zealand banknotes, the Bank requires you to comply with the following image specifications:

  • the scaling must be more than 125% or less than 75% of the real thing
  • image resolution does not exceed 72 dpi
  • only one-sided images are depicted in both print and electronic media.

Banknote images are available on Flickr