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Security features of New Zealand banknotes

This page explores the security features of New Zealand banknotes using the $10 banknote as an example.

New Zealand has one of the lowest rates of counterfeiting in the world. But it is important people check their notes’ security features – to make sure they are genuine.

Banknote security features

Video 0m:59s

In New Zealand, there are two series of banknotes seen in circulation—Series 6 and the newer Series 7. We added some new features to the Series 7 and enhanced some existing ones:

  • A larger window features a more detailed metallic element.
  • The native bird icon changes colour as the banknote is tilted, and a bar can be seen moving through the space.
  • A small ‘puzzle number' lines up when the banknote is held up to the light.
  • Raised ink is still used on the large denomination number.

How to check Series 7 banknotes are genuine

The security features of the $10 banknote are the same as for all the banknotes.

The front of the 10 dollar banknote showing the different security features
Flip the banknote to see the features from the front of the window repeated on the back.
The back of the 10 dollar banknote showing the different security features

Look, feel, tilt to check its real

The quick way to check your banknote is genuine is to look, feel and tilt it. See more information below.

Large window

Look at the large transparent window next to the portrait. There are many intricate details such as the value of the banknote at the top and bottom and a detailed border showing ferns and kowhai patterns.

Look at the metallic feature in the window. It has many details such as the bird’s silhouette, a map of New Zealand, a 3D feature showing the value of the banknote and delicate silver ferns.

Puzzle number

Look at the banknote when held up to the light. The small puzzle pieces on the front and back of the banknote form a complete number.

Colour changing bird and fern

Look at the silhouette of the bird and hold the note up to the light. You will see the fern window from the back of the note shining through. As you move the note, the colour inside the bird changes and a bar rolls diagonally across the bird shape.

The large window, puzzle number and colour changing bird security features

Feel the note

Feel the banknotes as they have a distinct polymer feel. The banknotes are smooth and made of one piece of plastic and they shouldn’t tear easily.

Raised ink

Feel the raised ink on the front and back of the banknote.

On the front of the banknote the large number, the portrait and the words ‘Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua’ will feel raised.

On the back, the raised ink is on the large number, the featured bird and the words ‘New Zealand’ and ‘Aotearoa’. It’s a unique texture that should feel familiar from the previous banknote.

The front and back of the 10 dollar banknote showing where to look for the raised ink security feature

Metallic feature

Tilt the banknote and see the colours reflect and move through the detailed metallic imagery in the large window. You can see the colour changing effects on the front and the back of the note.

Colour changing bird/fern

Tilt the banknote and a bright, shining bar will move within the bird silhouette on the front of the banknote. On the back of the banknote, the shining bar moves within the fern window.

Embossed number

Tilt the banknote and see the fine lines within the emboss feature move and reflect the denomination of the banknote.

Holographic numbers

“01, 10” in bright colours as you tilt the note.

Holographic bird

The featured bird is included.

Map of New Zealand

The map of New Zealand has bright colours when tilted.

Reversing numeral

Tilt the note left to right – the number will flip around.

Silver ferns

Behind the map of New Zealand are two silver ferns that shine in bright colours when tilted.

3D number

This clever number looks 3D, but should feel flat

Embossed number

Below the holographic features the denomination of the note is embossed

The colour changing bird and fern, the embossed number and individual features in the metallic feature

Explore the details

Colour changing bird

When you tilt the note, the colour of the bird’s silhouette changes and a shining bar rolls up and down the bird’s body. The same effect can be seen in the fern on the back of the note.

Metallic feature

If you tilt the note – either sideways or up and down – the metallic feature in the window shows many colour changing effects. In particular, the value of the note flips in the North Island of the map when tilting the note from left to right.

The front of the 10 dollar banknote showing where to look for the colour changing bird and metallic feature security features

Microtext

Using a magnifying glass, look closely around the portrait. You can see the value of the note printed repeatedly.

Using a magnifying glass, look at the numeral on the front and back of the banknote. There is microtext saying “RBNZ” on the front and “NZD10” on the back repeatedly.

Fluorescent feature

There is a fluorescent square on the front of the note that illuminates bright green under ultra-violet light while the rest of the note remains dull in contrast. Shine an ultra-violet light over the front of the note to see the feature.

The front of the 10 dollar banknote showing where to look for the fluorescent feature and microtext

This factsheet provides an overview of the main security features of the Series 7 banknotes.

Security features of New Zealand's banknotes: Series 7 (PDF 8 MB)

How to check Series 6 banknotes are genuine

The security features of the older Series 6 $10 banknote are the same as all the Series 6 notes.

The front of the Series 6 10 dollar banknote showing where to look for the security features

Serial number

Each note has an individual serial number printed horizontally and vertically.

Raised ink

The banknotes have raised printing, which can be felt when you run your fingers over it.

Shadow image of the Queen

You should be able to see a shadow image of the Queen when you hold the note to the light.

Framed window with embossed number

There is an oval window that has the denomination of the note embossed in it. Make sure the window is present, properly embedded in the note and you can read the number clearly.

Microtext

Tiny micro-printed letters “RBNZ” should be visible on the note with a magnifying glass.

Fern window

There is a small window in the shape of a curved fern leaf. Make sure the window is there and properly embedded in the note.

Matching fern

Look at the note when held up to a source of light. The fern above the window on the front matches with the fern on the back.

This factsheet provides an overview of the security features of the Series 6 banknotes.

Security features of New Zealand's banknotes: Series 6 (PDF 138 KB)