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Brighter money is coming

10 July 2015

From mid-October the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will start to issue new $5 and $10 banknotes. These are the first two denominations in a new series to enter the market. The $20s, $50s and $100s will follow in April 2016.

It may take a few weeks to months for you to see the new $5 and $10 as the Reserve Bank is taking a business as usual approach to distribution but you will begin to see and handle them progressively in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas.

The Reserve Bank regularly reviews and improves New Zealand’s banknotes to ensure their security features are updated. With technology constantly evolving, it’s important our banknotes keep up, to help ensure counterfeiting levels remain low.

The existing notes will remain in use after the new notes are introduced. Both the current notes and new notes will be legal tender. The older notes will be automatically withdrawn when they return to the Reserve Bank as part of the normal cash processing cycle.

The notes have a brighter, more modern look, with the note denomination shown in larger print and greater colour contrast between notes. The notes feature more te reo Māori, and contain more sophisticated security features that enhance the overall design. They are the same sizes as the current notes, and are made of the same flexible, durable plastic.

The key aim of the project is to benefit from technological advances in security features. Some new security features of the banknotes will be obvious, such as the holographic window (right) and the colour-changing bird (left). They give the notes a different appearance.


These are conceptual images of the new banknotes released in November 2014. The final versions will be available from 1 September.

In September the Reserve Bank will provide guidance material for retailers and financial institutions that will support the introduction of the new notes.

For more information about the banknote project you can visit the Reserve Bank website and the Brighter Money website.

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