The Act governing currency issue in New Zealand

Understand the restrictions on reproducing currency or money-like products.

(Part of the Reserve Bank Act 1989)

25. Issue of currency by bank

  1. The Bank shall have the sole right to issue bank notes and coins in New Zealand
  2. The Bank shall determine the denominations, form, design, content, weight, and composition of its bank notes and coins
  3. Every bank note issued by the Bank before the commencement of this Act, and every coin issued by the Minister under the Decimal Currency Act 1964 or under the Coinage Act 1933 by virtue of the Decimal Currency Act 1964, which is legal tender at the commencement of this Act shall be deemed for all purposes to have been made or issued under this Act.

(c.f. 1964, No 134, s. 20(1), (3); 1964, No. 27, s. 10)

26. Power of the bank to call in currency

  1. The Bank may, from time to time, with the prior consent of the Minister, by notice in the Gazette, call in any bank notes or coins issued or deemed to have been issued under this Act
  2. Every notice shall take effect on a date specified in it
  3. When the notice takes effect, all bank notes or coins to which it applies shall cease to be legal tender; but the Bank shall continue to be liable to pay any such bank note or coin on presentation at the head office of the Bank
  4. The Bank shall continue to be liable to pay any bank note issued before the commencement of this Act which has ceased to be legal tender before the commencement of this Act, and which the Bank was, immediately before the commencement of this Act, liable to pay, on presentation at the head office of the Bank
  5. The Bank shall be liable to pay any coin issued by the Minister before the commencement of this Act which has ceased to be legal tender before the commencement of this Act, on presentation at the head office of the Bank.

(c.f. 1964, No 134, s 22; 1964, No 27, s 12)

27. Legal tender

  1. Every bank note issued, or deemed to be issued, under this Act shall be a legal tender for the amount expressed in the note
  2. A tender of payment of money, to the extent that it is made in coins issued, or deemed to be issued, under this Act, shall be a legal tender,
    1. in the case of coins of a denomination of $10 or more, for the payment of any amount:
    2. in the case of coins of a denomination of $1 or more but less than $10, for the payment of any amount not exceeding $100:
    3. in the case of coins of the denomination of 5 cents or more, but less than $1 for the payment of any amount not exceeding $5:
    4. in the case of any coins of the denomination of less than 5 cents, for the payment of an amount not exceeding 20 cents
  3. The references to coins and bank notes in subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not include references to coins and bank notes that have been called in.

(c.f. 1964, No 134, s 20(2); 1964, No 27, s 14)

28. Defacing bank notes

  1. No person shall without the prior consent of the Bank, wilfully deface, disfigure, or mutilate any bank note
  2. No person who is a party to the defacement, disfigurement or, mutilation of any bank note, shall
    1. pay away; or
    2. part with; or
    3. put in circulation; or
    4. demand payment of; or
    5. deposit or offer to deposit in any bank,
  3. that bank note
  4. Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section commits an offence against this Act and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000

29. Making or issuing of other bank notes or coins

  1. No person shall make or issue any bank note or coin, other than a bank note or coin issued under this Act
  2. Every person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section commits an offence against this Act, and shall be liable on conviction on indictment,
    1. in the case of an individual, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding $100,000
    2. in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $300,000

30. Reproduction or imitation of currency

  1. No person shall, without the prior consent of the Bank,
    1. make, design, engrave, print, or reproduce; or
    2. use, issue, or publish
  2. any article or thing resembling a bank note or coin or so nearly resembling or having such a likeness to a bank note or coin as to be likely to be confused with or mistaken for it
  3. Every person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section commits an offence against this Act
  4. Where a person is convicted of an offence against subsection (2) of this section, the Court may order
    1. the article or thing:
    2. any copy of it:
    3. any plates, blocks, dies and other instruments used or capable of being used for printing or reproducing it
  5. in the possession of that person to be destroyed.

(c.f. 1964, No 134, s 24(2); 1973, No 16, s 6)