Introducing .... Smaller, lighter coins

Release date
31 July 2006

The time has come for us to lighten up. Smaller, lighter 50, 20, and 10 cent coins were released today, and people can soon expect them in their change.

The new coins retain the same "heads" and "tails" designs but the 10 cent coin is copper-coloured.

The introduction of smaller, lighter coins is one of New Zealand's biggest currency changes since the introduction of decimal currency on 10 July 1967, said Reserve Bank Currency Manager, Brian Lang.

"The new coins will be convenient for the public and easier for those handling coin in bulk, such as banks and security firms. They are less costly to manufacture, saving the taxpayer approximately $3 million annually.

"Over the past four weeks 84 million new coins have been delivered to every bank branch in the country."

The Reserve Bank is encouraging people to locate any old 5, 10, 20 or 50 cent coins that they may have stored away and either use them or take them to their bank.

Since 1967 the Reserve Bank has issued 1,037 million ‘silver' coins. Based on what happened when the Euro was introduced, the Bank expects a significant amount of the old coins to be returned, Mr Lang said.

Starting today there is three month transition period, when both the old and new coins can be used. From 1 November 2006, the old 50, 20, 10 and 5 cent coins will no longer be legal tender, which means retailers do not have to accept them as payment for goods. However, the Reserve Bank will always redeem these older coins.

For further information, visit the Reserve Bank New Coins website - www.newcoins.govt.nz.*

For further information contact:
Anthea Black
External Communications Adviser
Ph 04 471 3767, 021 222 5225, anthea.black@rbnz.govt.nz

*This website was archived in 2012 but can be viewed at http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.newcoins.govt.nz/