Notes & coins frequently asked questions
A. Please print this form for returning demonetised currency to the Reserve Bank (PDF 32KB), complete it, then return it with your old money to the Reserve Bank in Wellington.
A. The Reserve Bank will always pay face value for currency that has been legally issued for use in New Zealand. In order to obtain value, old coins should be returned to the Reserve Bank in Wellington.
We are aware that trading banks have elected to no longer accept old coins and that old coins should now be returned to the following address:-
Reserve Bank of New Zealand
PO Box 2498
2 The Terrace
Attn Currency Officer
If you are bringing your coins to the Reserve Bank in Wellington, please print this form for returning demonetised currency to the Reserve Bank, complete it, and then return it with your old money to the Reserve Bank in Wellington.
Q. Where do I find out about money? How are the coins and banknotes designed? How long do they last etc.
A. Our pamphlet Explaining Currency: New Zealand's banknotes and coins (PDF 398KB) should contain the answers to most of your questions. Also have a look in the Money area on this website for additional information.
A. If you come across a badly damaged banknote, don't throw it away, as it will normally have some value. The Reserve Bank is liable to pay on currency it issues, provided that the note is not so badly damaged that it is unrecognisable. In extreme cases, individual assessments of notes may need to be made. To receive payment on a damaged note, you need to present it to a bank or to the Reserve Bank in Wellington.
A. The New Zealand Retailers Association has suggested to
its members that when the total transaction value ends in x cents and payment is
by cash then the following rounding principle should be applied:
Ending In: 1c/2c/3c/4c/5c - round down
Ending In: 6c/7c/8c/9c - round up
The Association has stressed that this is a suggestion only and each company will form its own commercial decision on the matter of rounding. However, the Association has added that where rounding is used then the policy should be clearly displayed at point of sale so consumers are appropriately informed.
A. All New Zealand currency is accepted by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for payment at face value. Some currency has been demonetised or withdrawn including 1c and 2c coins and $1 and $2 notes. These do not need to be accepted by moneychangers as they are no longer legal tender, but are still accepted by us. Should moneychangers take this money they can send it to us and we will pay full value. (This is also the case for pre-decimal "LSD" New Zealand pounds). It is important to note that all decimal (dollars) paper banknotes (excluding $1 and $2 notes) are legal tender and are still in circulation.
A. Our old “silver” coins are made of cupro-nickel (75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel). Nickel is expensive, and prices for these metals are volatile. For example, the price of copper has risen by 75 percent over the last twelve months. In recent years plated steel technology has matured, using either nickel to give a silver appearance, or copper to give a reddish appearance. Many countries now use plated steel coins, including the new euro 1, 2 and 5 cent coins, and coins issued in the UK, Canada and South Africa. Plated steel coins are more economical. Nickel-plated steel coins cost about 25 percent less than cupro-nickel coins of the same size. Copper-plated steel coins are about 33 percent cheaper than their cupro-nickel equivalents.
The silver coins changed on 31 July 2006. The plated steel coins look and feel much the same as the old coins, but they are lighter. They last almost as long as cupro-nickel coins. A bag of new coins weighs less than half that of the equivalent bag of old coins. In the year to 30 June 2004, it cost the Reserve Bank $3.5 million to issue 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. Downsizing and changing to plated steel will save the taxpayer annually about $3 million.
A. The main reason is that over the years inflation reduced the value of the 5 cent coin so much that it became a nuisance and of no real value to people making transactions. By the time it was withdrawn, the 5 cent coin was worth less than half what a cent was worth back in 1967. A survey commissioned by the Reserve Bank in early 2004 indicated that most retailers and members of the public supported withdrawing the 5 cent coin.
A. Yes you can, as long as you follow these guidelines:
The reproduction of all or part of a New Zealand banknote shall be authorised in the following cases:
- For photographs, drawings, paintings, films and generally for any type of image in which the focus is not the banknotes or reproductions themselves and which do not provide a close-up view of the banknote designs;
- For one-sided reproductions, provided these are more than 125% or less than 75% of both the length and width of the respective banknote, irrespective of the material used for the reproduction.
For more information, see the Issuing or reproducing "banknotes" and "coins" section of the Reserve Bank website.