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How you may use images of currency

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 restricts the reproduction of currency and the issue of ‘money-like products’. This page has guidance to help you plan how to reproduce images of currency while still complying with the Act.

About the Act

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 governs the issue of currency in New Zealand including the reproduction of banknotes, coins and ‘money-like products’.

It aims to protect the integrity of New Zealand’s currency. It allows the public to have confidence in the value of the currency and limits the risk people will be misled by counterfeits or imitations of money.

Read the Act's restrictions relating to currency issue

In particular, these two sections of the Act are relevant:

  • Section 28: a person must not deliberately deface, disfigure or mutilate any banknote without the permission of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  • 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 for acceptable use

We allow the use of reproductions and images of New Zealand currency under Sections 28 and 30 as long as they meet the three criteria below. You do not need to contact us for permission so long as you meet these guidelines.

The following uses and reproductions are acceptable:

  1. Reproducing complete, scaled, one-sided images of banknotes and coins in books, brochures or on screen. This would be typically for educational, informational or illustrative purposes.
  2. Reproducing images of complete banknotes in animated form for artistic or advertorial purposes, providing these purposes comply with point 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 the use complies with the above.

Unacceptable reproductions

  1. Defaced reproduction of images, for example, where the portrait is replaced by another person for advertorial purposes.
  2. Reproduction of banknotes and coins intended to mislead or that 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.

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 currency should consult the relevant legislation.

Things to consider

Before you start reproducing any images of New Zealand banknotes and/or coins, or banknote designs, we recommend you:

  • carefully consider the nature of the reproduction or image and the context in which you propose to use it
  • be aware we hold the copyright for the design of the banknotes, while copyright in the individual images used on the notes may be held by others.

Using our banknote image library

Image library

We have developed a family of Series 7 banknote images for educational, information or illustrative purposes.

View images on our facebook page

These images cannot be used for commercial uses. They can be used and reproduced so long as you meet the following conditions:

  1. The images are reproduced accurately and without any changes.
  2. Component details of banknote and coin designs are not reproduced in isolation.
  3. We are 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 likely to be mistaken for a real banknote or coin.
  5. You do not imply your use of the images is done in connection with us, or with our endorsement.

Image specifications

If you intend to reproduce images of New Zealand banknotes, we need 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 must not be higher than 72 dpi (dots per inch)
  • only one-sided images are depicted in both print and electronic media.