The Reserve Bank has announced that New Zealand’s shiny new upgraded banknotes will soon be in circulation ($5 and $10 notes will start circulating this month, $20s, $50s and $100s are scheduled for April 2016). In this day and age of contactless payments, PayPal and bitcoin, we wondered: just what new tech has been included in the new notes? Are they long lasting? What clever design elements have been included? And what fancy security measures have been put in place on the new notes?


While the news has been filled with reactions to the flag, our newly designed bank notes seem to have taken a back seat. They aren’t cheap either, at a 'mere' $80 million, and if we are looking at shedding the shackles of the monarchy in the form of the Union Jack, should the Queen be departing our bank notes too? And what about core design principles. Do our notes stack up to the aesthetics of those from other nations? We talk to designer Brian Slade, creative director for Insight Creative for a commentary on another facet of New Zealand’s branding, our currency.