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Old coins need to be spent or banked soon

Old coins need to be spent or banked soon

Auckland's leading shopping district, Newmarket, has taken it upon itself to remind people that after 31 October old 50, 20, 10 and 5 cent coins will no longer be legal tender.

"New Zealanders need to be reminded of this. There are millions of dollars around the country sitting in piggy banks, car ashtrays, and in coffee jars that will be completely worthless in less than a month," said Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association, today.

"The Reserve Bank has failed in its duty to remind New Zealanders that much of our small change will soon be worthless. Not promoting this fact is verging on negligence, especially when you consider it is going to have a cost impact on most households. With less than four weeks to go, I challenge the Reserve Bank to get a public announcement campaign out sooner rather than later. It should not be the job of retailers to remind people.

"This whole costly exercise of downsizing our silver has been completely unnecessary and has caused a lot of confusion. Taking the five-cent out of circulation has been premature at best, when you consider it still has tradeable value and that many other overseas currencies still have one and five cent denominations."

Mr Brewer says since the new coins were introduced after 31 July and while the old coins have remained, customers have been confused at the shop counter about which coins were worth what. People have also been annoyed that the cash price and electronic price now varies by five cents, and with the disappearance of the five-cent inconsistent rounding policies are rife.

"All the statistics show that across the country retailing has been tough this year. This penny project dreamt up by Wellington bureaucrats has been the last thing anyone wanted or needed.

"Now its about to hit every Kiwi in the back pocket, simply because the Reserve Bank has failed in its obligation to sufficiently remind people that their hard-earned money will very soon not be worth anything," said Mr Brewer.

ends

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