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July 31st 2006 - A Big Day For Small Change



July 31st 2006 is the day our small change changes forever.

Not since our $1 and $2 coins came into existence fifteen years ago have we seen such a dramatic transformation in the New Zealand monetary system.

Two of our silver coins – the 50 and the 20 cent piece – will become lighter and smaller. The 10 cent coin gets the biggest makeover, losing weight and changing colour - to copper. We also say a fond farewell to the five cent piece.

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Although the new coins will provide benefits for consumers, the change will affect retailers and cash-handlers dramatically, especially those that use coin counters, scales, sorters or coin-operated machinery. Systems affected include vending, gaming, carwash, snack and cigarette machines, parking meters, amusement rides, arcades and pay-phones.

The Reserve Bank of NZ has indicated that it will take at least 5 to 6 weeks after the change-over date on July 31st to recall the majority of old coins.

However, Cash Handling Systems, who specialise in coin processing, have been planning the coin change since early 2005 to make the transition phase as smooth as possible. Most machines can be recalibrated for the new coins through Cash Handling Systems.

Project Manager at Cash Handling Services Richard Oliver says literally thousands of machines will be affected by the new coins and operators should see July 31st as an opportunity to find out more information on their machines and replace or recalibrate old equipment.

“Counting coins can be very time-consuming at the best of times, and the change means possible miscounting and mistakes that could cost companies big bucks.”

Retailers or operators that are concerned about the coin changeover can call Cash Handling Systems free on 0508-247-435 or visit their website


About CHS
Cash Handling Systems have 6 offices across New Zealand and Australia – Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Brisbane.
Operating for close to fifteen years, Cash Handling Systems - or CHS – is a distributor and supplier of technical service for coin operated services such as vending and parking machines and their componentry. CHS also design and build products with flexible software and robust cabinetry. CHS employ a passionate team of people focused on finding new and innovative ways to deliver the most up-to-date coins systems.
Vigorous and advanced investments in research and product development have resulted in one successful innovation after another. Today, many of these products are market leaders. CHS’s key focuses are good planning, high product quality and advanced technology with impeccable after-sales service.
Coin Factoids:
- New Zealand coins, on average, last about 20 years.
- We got our own coin system in 1933.
- Coins are made from large sheets of metal, first cut in rounds then stamped respectively with their pattern on each side.
- The 20 cent changed in 1991 on the “tails” side of the coin from the kiwi to a maori carving. The $1 coin took over the use of the kiwi.
- Our $1 and $2 coins were introduced in 1991 replacing the respective notes which were demonetised in April 1993.
- The Reserve Bank first mooted the changing of our silver coins in 2003 and it became an official proposal in March 2005.
- Compared with notes, forgery of coins is very uncommon due to the low value of coins and the special percentages of metals such as copper, nickel and aluminium bronze.
- One can still exchange money that has been demonetised (1 and 2 cent coins and $1 and $2 notes) at The Reserve Bank in Wellington.
- The new 10, 20 and 50 cent pieces will be much more economical for the Reserve Bank to produce.
- The biggest change in the monetary system in New Zealand was 1967 when the country changed to the decimal currency system.


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