The Reserve Bank is the sole supplier of New Zealand banknotes and coins. We act as a wholesale distributor to the trading banks, and manage the design and manufacturing of the currency. We also withdraw damaged or unusable notes and coins to manage the quality of currency in circulation.
For a general overview of New Zealand’s currency with imagery of coins and banknotes, consult the publication Explaining New Zealand currency (PDF 32KB).
The Reserve Bank has had sole authority to issue New Zealand’s banknotes since 1934. The Bank reviews and improves New Zealand’s banknotes to ensure the security features within them are updated, and work is under way to upgrade the current series of banknotes.
The Reserve Bank has had legal authority over coinage since 1989. This section includes information on the history, design and number of mintings for the imperial and decimal coins, commemorative coins and the coins we use today.
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.
The Reserve Bank will always pay face value for currency that has been legally issued for use in New Zealand but has ceased to be legal tender (including pre-decimal currency). To receive payment on old currency from the Reserve Bank, you need to return it to our office in Wellington. Retail banks are unlikely to accept currency that is no longer legal tender for deposit or exchange.
Use the following forms if you have old money that is no longer ‘legal tender’. You will need to print them out to complete.