New Zealand banknote upgrade project under way

Release date
21 July 2011

The Reserve Bank announced today that planning has begun to upgrade New Zealand's current series of banknotes.

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said the project will involve updating all five banknotes, the $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.

"This upgrade will ensure our banknotes benefit from the technical advances that have been introduced in banknote security over the last 12 years. Such upgrades are carried out on a regular basis and help to maintain New Zealand's low counterfeiting levels. The project will also look to improve the quality of these notes," he said.

Dr Bollard emphasised that planning for the upgrade project is at an early stage and the various new banknotes will be progressively released from 2014 at the earliest.

A recent survey carried out by Nielsen for the Reserve Bank found the public is satisfied with the colours, design and themes of the existing notes and that the different note denominations were easy to distinguish. The public were also happy with the range of notes available.

"As a result of these survey findings, we will not be making significant changes to the overall themes of the notes themselves. This includes continuing to use the five respected individuals currently depicted on our notes." Dr Bollard said.

"However, we are planning to modernise the designs, as modern printing techniques will allow us to give the notes a new look.

"At this point in the project it is envisaged the new notes will be phased in and will be used alongside the existing notes for a period once they are released."

The Reserve Bank has already begun contacting business and consumer groups with a special interest in currency matters to gather technical feedback. Further such groups can contact the Bank at newnotes@rbnz.govt.nz.

Further details of the Currency Survey carried out by Nielsen can be found on the Reserve Bank website.

Media Contact
Sonia Speedy
External Communications Adviser
Ph 04 471 3846, 021 663 082, sonia.speedy@rbnz.govt.nz