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Makeover looms for NZ banknotes

Makeover looms for NZ banknotes
Our currency is about to be refreshed with a bit of a facelift to reflect advances in technology and security.
The Reserve Bank is planning to upgrade our dollar notes

[Photo credit]

Maybe money is a taboo subject for polite company, but the design of our currency certainly isn't. The Reserve Bank yesterday said it has plans to upgrade all of our bank notes; that's the $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills.

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard says the new notes will be progressively released from 2014 at the earliest.

“This upgrade will ensure our banknotes benefit from the technical advances that have been introduced in banknote security over the last 12 years. Such upgrades are carried out on a regular basis and help to maintain New Zealand’s low counterfeiting levels. The project will also look to improve the quality of these notes,” he says.

The changes won't be significant, however. A recent survey carried out by Nielsen for the Reserve Bank found the public is satisfied with the colours, design and themes of the existing notes and that the different note denominations were easy to distinguish. The public were also happy with the range of notes and coins available.

“As a result of these survey findings, we will not be making significant changes to the overall themes of the notes themselves. This includes continuing to use the five respected individuals currently depicted on our notes.” Dr Bollard says.

“However, we are planning to modernise the designs, as modern printing techniques will allow us to give the notes a new look.

“At this point in the project it is envisaged the new notes will be phased in and will be used alongside the existing notes for a period once they are released.”

Of the 1,000 consumers and 288 retailers surveyed, a small number stated the notes look dated, (4 percent) and that they dislike the plastic, (4 percent). The $5 note, which receives the most use, was also pinpointed as poor-quality by three-quarters of retailers and more than half of consumers.

As for the public's favourite design aspect, that was the image of the native bird, selected by 64.5 percent of respondents as a "liked" feature.

What do you think the new currency should look like? Do you like the current design/material of our banknotes? Heck, do you even still use cash these days?