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New Zealand dollar

The New Zealand dollar, abbreviated NZD or NZ$ and often informally known as the Kiwi dollar, is the official currency of New Zealand and the Cook Islands. It was introduced in 1967 to replace the New Zealand pound, when the country decimalised its currency.

The NZD, like the US Dollar, is made up of 100 cents.

Table of contents
1 Denominations
2 Coins and Notes
3 Value
4 External links


Currency is available as both notes and coins.


Value Obverse Reverse

100 Dollars
Features Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand-born scientist who performed much early work in the investigation of the atom.

Features the mohua, a bird found in certain areas of the South Island.

50 Dollars
Features Apirana Ngata, a prominent Maori politician who worked to protect and rejuvenate Maori culture.

Features a type of kokako, a rare New Zealand bird.

20 Dollars
Features Queen Elizabeth II, the current monarch of New Zealand and other commonwealth realms.

Features the karearea, sometimes called the New Zealand Falcon.

10 Dollars
Features Kate Sheppard, the most important figure in the New Zealand women's suffrage movement.

Features the whio (also known as the blue duck), a rare bird from the country's mountainous areas.

5 Dollars
Features Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand mountaineer who co-led the team which first scaled Mount Everest.

Features the hoiho, or Yellow-eyed Penguin, one of the world's rarest penguin species.


Coins and Notes

Lack of 1 and 2 cent coins

Prior to
30 April, 1990, one and two cent coins were also legal tender, but were withdrawn amid some controversy. However, modern non-cash transactions (such as electronic transactions and chequess) need not be multiples of five cents, and New Zealanders rapidly adapted to the change.

The lack of one and two cent coins means that cash transactions are rounded to the (normally) nearest five cents. Some larger retailers (notably, one supermarket chain), in the interests of public relations, elected to always round down (so that $4.99 becomes $4.95 instead of $5.00). Alternatively many retailers rounded their prices to five cents to avoid the issue entirely - so a New Zealand shopper often encounters products for sale at prices like $4.95; and virtually all retailers accept electronic transactions though the EFTPOS system.

Plastic Fantastic

New Zealand notes, since 1999, have been printed on a plastic polymer instead of conventional paper. There was a slight controversy, but this move was mostly met with curiosity by the public. Such polymer notes have many advantages, notably a photocopy can effortlessly be distinguished from the real thing by touch, and many Kiwis have been thankful they can go though a washing machine with no ill effects. (Note that the picture below is out of date, and is of the previous paper issue.)


The value of the New Zealand dollar has been floating, i.e., determined by the financial markets, since March 4, 1985. Since then its value has been in the range of about 0.40 - 0.72 United States dollars, with a particularly low valuation during 2001. From July 9, 1973 until the float its value had been determined from a trade-weighted basket of currencies. Between December 23, 1971 and July 9, 1973 its value was linked to the United States dollar. Before December 23, 1971 it was linked to British sterling.

External links