RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs

Release date
20 November 2014

New Zealand's banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year.

The Bank today also launched a Brightermoney.co.nz website which contains basic information about the notes and the wider upgrade project. It will be progressively updated over time, and it will eventually become a one-stop-shop for industry players, retailers and the public to up-skill themselves about the new notes.

In a speech, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand said designs and printing techniques have advanced significantly since the current banknotes were released in 1999, and demand for cash continues to increase.

The new designs still feature the same well-respected individuals and flora and fauna as the current banknotes.

"Our Brighter Money doesn't just celebrate innovation and the pioneering New Zealand spirit through the images depicted on the banknotes - the notes themselves are at the forefront of banknote technology," Mr Bascand said.

"Our new notes contain more sophisticated security features that greatly enhance the overall design. The transparent windows are larger, and striking holographic features will help to make the notes very easy to verify, but hard to counterfeit. Counterfeit rates are low in New Zealand compared to the rest of the world, but technology changes are making it easier and we need to stay ahead of the game."

The new notes will be released progressively. The target date for the release of the $5 and $10 notes is October 2015, and the target date for the release of the $20, $50 and $100 is April 2016.

Both the current notes and new notes will circulate together and both sets will be legal tender.

"The Reserve Bank will withdraw the old series notes from circulation naturally as the banks return them to us. Our note circulation and distribution strategy has been designed in consultation with industry, and it represents a ‘business-as-usual' approach which should minimise the additional costs of introducing new notes," Mr Bascand said.

The Reserve Bank will continue to work closely with banks, manufacturers of bank-note-handling equipment and retailers to ensure a smooth transition to the new notes.

A public awareness campaign will be run closer to the times the notes are released.

Relevant links

Media Contact
Naomi Mitchell
External Communications Adviser
Ph 04 471 3960, 027 485 9474, naomi.mitchell@rbnz.govt.nz