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Bank notes in the hands of the public (F3)

This data tracks all bank notes held outside our vaults, summarised by year and by denomination.

As at last Wednesday in March(NZ$ thousands)
$ Notes L.S.D ALL
Year $1 $2 $5 $10 $20 $50 $100 Total 10/- £1 £5 £10 £50 Total Total
1998 8,724 10,591 57,825 122,032 612,717 365,499 454,250 1,631,638 936 1,589 1,934 489 158 5,106 1,636,744
1999 8,696 10,547 62,083 125,910 717,265 373,723 532,451 1,830,675 936 1,589 1,933 489 158 5,105 1,835,780
2000 8,677 10,516 68,500 135,558 824,102 337,601 648,267 2,033,221 936 1,588 1,932 488 158 5,102 2,038,323
2001 8,665 10,491 76,004 160,982 986,444 348,110 776,808 2,367,504 936 1,588 1,930 488 158 5,100 2,372,604
2002 8,651 10,465 79,010 168,985 1,147,651 361,380 913,044 2,689,186 936 1,588 1,930 488 158 5,100 2,694,286
2003 8,637 10,441 83,783 162,339 1,069,459 411,840 953,793 2,700,292 936 1,588 1,930 488 158 5,100 2,705,392
2004 8,627 10,424 86,684 165,740 1,059,267 473,392 983,635 2,787,769 936 1,588 1,927 488 158 5,097 2,792,866
2005 8,617 10,408 90,515 182,830 1,212,228 519,159 1,045,589 3,069,346 936 1,588 1,925 488 158 5,095 3,074,441
2006 8,607 10,391 92,370 183,216 1,171,319 533,098 1,124,339 3,123,340 936 1,588 1,925 488 158 5,095 3,128,435
2007 8,594 10,371 95,457 190,779 1,188,267 611,374 1,204,678 3,309,520 936 1,588 1,925 488 158 5,095 3,314,615
2008 8,587 10,360 96,425 196,191 1,256,110 678,465 1,221,487 3,467,625 935 1,588 1,925 488 158 5,094 3,472,719
2009 8,578 10,343 100,464 181,860 1,206,726 798,199 1,411,509 3,717,679 935 1,588 1,925 488 158 5,094 3,722,773
2010 8,572 10,332 105,182 182,527 1,265,309 952,156 1,406,332 3,930,410 935 1,588 1,925 488 158 5,094 3,935,504
2011 8,566 10,320 109,267 191,969 1,231,543 998,571 1,451,313 4,001,549 935 1,588 1,925 488 158 5,094 4,006,643
2012 8,558 10,310 112,341 186,076 1,219,346 1,047,381 1,504,419 4,088,431 935 1,588 1,924 488 158 5,093 4,093,524
2013 8,551 10,299 119,011 194,413 1,308,526 1,178,671 1,605,338 4,424,809 935 1,588 1,924 488 158 5,093 4,429,902
2014 8,545 10,291 122,426 195,303 1,185,474 1,379,722 1,700,767 4,602,528 935 1,588 1,924 488 158 5,093 4,607,621
2015 8,540 10,283 128,397 186,864 1,120,701 1,658,341 1,844,828 4,957,954 935 1,587 1,922 488 158 5,090 4,963,044
2016 8,536 10,277 138,507 199,225 1,156,213 1,970,371 2,008,217 5,491,345 935 1,587 1,922 488 158 5,090 5,496,434
2017 8,532 10,272 143,842 207,932 1,100,984 2,051,079 1,998,644 5,521,284 935 1,587 1,922 488 158 5,089 5,526,373
2018 8,529 10,266 151,097 219,950 1,200,020 2,389,162 2,131,379 6,110,403 935 1,587 1,921 488 158 5,089 6,115,492
2019 8,524 10,260 152,486 226,894 1,128,667 2,537,024 2,221,534 6,285,389 935 1,587 1,921 488 158 5,089 6,528,928
2020 8,519 10,250 159,215 238,870 1,257,579 3,090,348 2,553,066 7,317,847 935 1,587 1,921 488 158 5,089 7,322,936
2021 8,515 10,245 158,510 235,939 1,280,197 3,695,238 2,528,291 7,916,935 935 1,587 1,921 488 158 5,089 7,922,024
2022 8,513 10,243 156,665 240,110 1,318,481 4,280,000 2,562,974 8,576,986 935 1,587 1,921 488 158 5,089 8,582,075

2020: The cash in circulation figure published as at Wednesday 25 March 2020, involved a very significant uplift from 2019. This was caused by an unprecedented demand for cash from system participants (banks, retailers, the public) in the days leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in New Zealand, which commenced at 11.59pm on 25 March 2020. It is expected a large portion of this increase will be returned to the Reserve Bank once the pandemic is over.

2019: Following a review of published 2019 data (in 2020), it was noted the 2019 data was not from the correct date in March (Wednesday 27 March 2019), but was from an April date and included increased cash issued in advance of Easter 2019. This resulted in total cash in circulation being overstated by $238.452m, which has now been remedied.


View all Bank notes in the hands of the public Special notes.

The data: coverage, periodicity and timeliness

Coverage characteristics

Data are disseminated in thousands of New Zealand dollars for bank notes in the hands of the public. The table includes all bank notes currently in circulation. It includes the New Zealand dollar (NZ$) series, which began circulation on 10 July 1967, and LSD notes (the currency that was in circulation prior to 10 July 1967) that remain in the hands of the public. The series started in 1968.

We have a legal monopoly over the right to issue currency. In New Zealand, the New Zealand dollar is legal tender. As monetary liabilities of the central bank, the currency generally acts as the unit of account (or numeraire) for New Zealand; that is, contracts are generally denominated in New Zealand dollars and cents (although there is no legal obligation to do so).

Periodicity

Annually.

Timeliness

We release data for Notes in the hands of the public in April each year.

Access by the public

Statistics release calendar

The statistics release calendar provides a long-term plan of scheduled releases. We update and release it on the first working day of the month.

View the statistics release calendar

Integrity

Dissemination of terms and conditions under which official statistics are produced, including confidentiality of individual responses

One of our key statutory obligations is to provide New Zealand's currency. We provide the information in these tables for reasons of public interest only.

Provision of information about revisions and advance notice of major changes in methodology

Provisional data are italicised. New data, or revised data, are in bold font. We deem data as provisional when a series is under review. This applies to the summary table only and not Excel files. We generally publish revisions when we are next due to update and release the table. Should we need to make revisions more promptly, we will post a special note.

Quality

Dissemination of documentation on methodology and sources used in preparing statistics

We extract data from our electronic system for recording movements (including new issues, re-issues and notes destroyed) in New Zealand currency.

Dissemination of statistics that support statistical cross-checks and provide assurance of reasonableness

We have a legal monopoly over the right to issue currency and therefore are the only provider of currency in New Zealand.

Bank notes

Since 10 July 1967, the currency in circulation in New Zealand is New Zealand dollars (NZ$) and cents. Initially, the bank notes in circulation were $1 (one dollar), $2 (two dollar), $5 (five dollar), $10 (ten dollar), $20 (twenty dollar), and $100 (one hundred dollar). The $50 (fifty dollar) note was introduced in 1983 and the $1 and $2 notes were replaced with coins in 1991.

Bank notes in the hands of the public represent all notes held outside our vaults.

Prior to 10 July 1967, the currency in circulation in New Zealand was LSD (pounds, shillings and pence). The notes, immediately prior to the introduction of the above decimal currency, were 10/- (ten shilling), ₤1 (one pound), ₤5 (five pound), ₤10 (ten pound), and ₤50 (fifty pound).

Legal tender

The virtue of cash – that you can buy or sell something instantly and conveniently – comes from the concept of legal tender. Technically, legal tender means that if I owe you money and I present you with cash, the debt is cleared then and there. The only exception to this is if we both agree to a different form of payment beforehand. So, for example, a shop doesn't have to accept a cheque, and it doesn't even have to accept cash, but the shop has to clearly indicate to you before you do business with them that they do not accept these forms of payment.

There is a minor qualification to this, in that the law specifies limits on using annoying amounts of coins as legal tender for buying larger items. If I owe you, say, $1000, I can't present you with $1000 worth of 10 cent coins and require you to accept them as legal tender.

Reserve Bank notes and coins are defined in Section 27 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, as ‘legal tender’. We are the only organisation in New Zealand that can issue bank notes and coins and determine the denominations and design of the nation's currency.

Read the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989

Symbols and conventions for summary table

Symbol or convention Definition
0 Zero or value rounded to zero
- Not applicable
.. Not available
bold Revised/new
italics Provisional
Light grey background Historical

General notes

  • Individual figures may not sum to the totals due to rounding
  • Percentage changes are calculated on unrounded numbers
  • You are free to copy, distribute and adapt these statistics subject to the conditions listed on our copyright page.