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Reserve Bank releases Explaining Currency booklet

3 July 2006

Reserve Bank releases Explaining Currency booklet

The Reserve Bank today released a third edition of its popular Explaining Currency booklet.

The booklet walks readers through the history of New Zealand's currency, describes the banknote and coin designs, how banknotes and coins are made, the security features and the life-cycle of a typical bank note. It features the smaller, lighter 10, 20 and 50 cent coins - to be released at the end of this month.

Copies of Explaining Currency booklets, which include a poster displaying New Zealand's Currency, have been sent to all schools with year 1 to 8 students. Copies can be downloaded from the Reserve Bank's website,

Brian Lang Reserve Bank Currency Manager says that while we tend to take banknotes and coins for granted, their history and production is fascinating.

"New Zealanders initially relied on a barter system and then on a confusing mix of coins, tokens and notes. New Zealand has had its own national currency only since 1934.

"Today our society relies on money in many forms. We can buy and sell things using coins, banknotes, cheques, credit cards, and by electronic transactions.

"Many of us remember the introduction of decimal currency - the biggest change since the introduction of currency. On 10 July 1967, New Zealand went decimal. This month - on 31 July - we will see another change - the current 50, 20, and 10 cent coins will be replaced with smaller and lighter coins, and the 5 cent coin will begin to be phased out."


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