Executive Summary: 2010 Currency Survey

 Date: 21 July 2011

In 2010, Nielsen was commissioned by the Reserve Bank to survey New Zealanders' opinions of the current banknote series. This survey focused on a number of areas, including a section of particular pertinence to the current banknote upgrade project - public satisfaction with New Zealand currency. This summary outlines some of the key findings in this specific area.

  • The public generally like the design of the existing banknotes, particularly the New Zealand themes. People also like the colours and found the notes easy to distinguish and handle. A small number stated that the notes look dated, (4 percent) and that they dislike the plastic, (4 percent).
  • Almost all, (91.5 percent), of those surveyed identified specific features they liked on the notes. The image of the native bird is the public's favourite as it was selected by the most respondents, (64.5 percent), as a ‘liked' design feature.
  • Respondents were generally, (80 percent), happy with the quality of the circulating notes, except the $5 note, which receives the most use. Three quarters, (76 percent) of retailers and over half of consumers, (57 percent), were dissatisfied with the quality of the $5 notes in circulation.
  • People are also happy with the range of notes ($5, $10, $20, $50, and $100) and coins (10c, 20c, 50c, $1, and $2) in circulation. Most consumers, (80 percent), and retailers, (86 percent), would not like to change the range of notes available. Three quarters of consumers and retailers, (75 and 76 percent respectively), are happy with the range of coins.
  • The survey found that retailers are generally aware of the security features built into banknotes. Many of them, (72 percent), identified the transparent window as a security feature. Almost 40 percent, (39 percent), of retail respondents stated they check for counterfeits once a month or more.

Notes: Nielsen surveyed 1,000 consumers across New Zealand using an online survey and another 288 retailers using a hard copy survey.