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$5 banknote

This page provides details of the security features, size and images used on the $5 banknote.

Learn more about the security features of our bank notes

Nominal sizes

The Series 7 banknotes nominal sizes are the same as Series 6

Denomination Length (mm) Height (mm)
$5 135 66

$5 banknote images (front)

Image Description Significance
$5 note front image Sir Edmund Hillary Sir Edmund Hillary portrait
Sir Edmund Hillary (1919–2008) is New Zealand’s best known mountaineer. In 1953, he and Tenzing Sherpa were the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 1958, Hillary was the first person to drive over continental Antarctica to the South Pole.
$5 note front image Mt Cook Aoraki Mt Cook/Aoraki
Mount Cook/Aoraki, in New Zealand’s South Island, is the country's highest mountain. It was the scene of Sir Edmund Hillary’s earliest, major climbing successes and was one of his favourite mountains.
Tukutuku  Tukutuku 'kaokao'  Kaokao is the name of the pattern included on the banknote. It is from the Tane-Nui-A-Rangi meeting house on the University of Auckland marae. It symbolises the strength and shelter of the Māori meeting house and mountains—both of which feature prominently in proverbs and aphorisms of the Māori people.

Ko te ingoa o te tauira i tēnei moni pēke ko kaokao, ā, i takea mai i te whare nui o Tāne-Nui-a-Rangi, i te marae o Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau.

Hei tohu te tauira kaokao nei mō te kaha me te whakaruruhau o te wharenui Māori, me ngā maunga o te motu – ēnei mea e rua ka kōrero nuitia i roto i ngā whakataukī o te iwi Māori.

$5 banknote images (back)

Image Description Significance

(Megadyptes antipodes)
The yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho (Megadyptes antipodes) is unique to New Zealand and one of the world’s rarest penguins. They are found along the south-eastern coastline of the South Island, and on Stewart, Campbell and the Auckland Islands.

The hoiho has a distinctive yellow iris and a yellow band of feathers across the back of its head. Adults are grey-blue on the back, with a snow-white belly and pink feet. Uniquely for penguins, Hoiho are solitary nesters and will travel quite far inland to nest.

The species is threatened by loss of habitat and predators—stoats, dogs, ferrets and cats—killing its chicks.

Campbell Island scene Campbell Island is the southernmost of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands (about 600 kilometres southeast of Stewart Island) and a population of yellow-eyed penguin live and breed there. This view of Campbell Island shows Northwest Bay from the slopes of Mt Azimuth.

Ross lily
(Bulbinella rossii)
The Ross lily (Bulbinella rossii) produces spectacular yellow flower heads in early summer and grows to a height of about one metre. It is not a true lily, being more closely related to aloe. It is native only to the Auckland and Campbell Islands.

Campbell Island daisy
(Pleurophyllum speciosum)
The Campbell Island daisy (Pleurophyllum speciosum) has colourful pink and purple flower heads and is a mega-herb in the daisy family. It is found on Campbell and Auckland Islands. Here the plants grow close to the ground to avoid the strong winds.

Image credits

Sir Edmund Hillary supplied his image for the Series 6 banknotes, which were designed in 1999.

The Mt Cook/Aoraki, Campbell Island scene, Ross lily (Bulbinella rossii) and Campbell Island daisy (Pleurophyllum speciosum) images were taken by photographer Rob Suisted.

Tukutuku—‘kaokao’ is courtesy of University of Auckland.

The yellow-eyed penguin/Hoiho (Megadyptes antipodes) image was taken by photographer Rod Morris.