New Zealand Money - NZ Currency

New Zealand money is called New Zealand Dollar, NZD, or NZ$.

For those curious about how much your money is worth in the currency of New Zealand, feel free to use this neat New Zealand "Currency Converter".

NZ money

About the NZ Currency

NZ money is decimalized since 1967, so that 100 cents add up to one dollar.

In 2006 the five cent pieces were discarded. New smaller and lighter coins made of plated steel replaced the old ones. Each coin has distinct properties of size, colour, design, and edge structure.

The 10 cents pieces display a coppery colour showing off a koruru, a carved Maori mask. The 20 and 50 cents pieces remained silvery. For easier differentiation the 20 cents pieces received the form of a "Spanish Flower". Meaning the circumference is divided by indents in seven equal segments. Its picture presents a pukaki Maori carving while the 50 cents coins are decorated by the Endeavour. The Endeavour was once the sailing ship commanded by Captain James Cook.

10 cents NZcurrency
20cents NZ currency
50cents NZ currency

Aluminium-bronze is the material used for the 1 and 2 dollar coins. Both display native New Zealand birds. The kiwi bird commonly referred to as the New Zealand national bird is imprinted on the one dollar coins of the New Zealand money. The two dollar coins represent the kotuku. It is also called the white heron, which takes an important place in Maori mythology, and is one of the country’s rarest birds.

Even though the 1, 2, and 5 cents are not present, prices like NZ$ 3.99 are common. In every day life this means, goods paid by cash the price is rounded up or down to the nearest ten cents. This method is called Swedish rounding. Yet, paid by EFTPOS or Credit Card the exact amount of New Zealand money will be withdrawn.

1$ NZ currency
2$ NZ currency

The bank notes of New Zealand money are printed on a polymer substrate since 1999. Clear advantages hereby are the notes become longer lasting, stronger, more resistant to grease, with a positive side effect of increasing the difficulty to forge them.

The colouring of the bank notes are: $5 (red-brown), $10 (blue), $20 (green), $50 (purple) and $100 (brown). ATMs found at banks, in malls, and shopping centres usually dispense $ 20 notes and sometimes $20 and $50 dollar notes. 100 dollar notes are rarer and are given out directly at the bank counter.


All notes of the New Zealand money show pictures of personalities important to New Zealand history on the front and on the back are birds and plants indigenous to New Zealand and its islands.

Sir Edmund Hillary sites on the five dollar note as New Zealand’s best known explorer. As the first explorer he reached in 1953 the summit of Mount Everest. The next exploration had lead Hillary to the South Pole where he arrived on a tractor in 1958. He obtained his place on the bank note while he was still alive.

The ten dollar note commemorates with a portrait of Kate Sheppard her leadership promoting the women’s right to vote. In 1893 this resulted in New Zealand becoming the first country to give all people suffrage regardless of gender, race, or social status.

Queen Elizabeth II represents on the 20 dollar note, of New Zealand money, the official chief role the British Crown holds on this island.


The fifty dollar note shows Sir Apirana Ngata. He was the first Maori who graduated from New Zealand’s university. Thereafter he held an important role in reviving Maori culture.

An internationally recognized scientist, Sir Ernest Lord Rutherford, is printed on the front of the one hundred dollar note. His achievements concerned the basic comprehension in atomic science where he influenced three instances.

The selection made of whom and what to honour by portraying it on New Zealand money reflects the cultural diversity of the population of New Zealand with its deep ties towards country and nature.  Universal Currency Converter ®

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Though far distanced from many places in the world New Zealand is a first world country. Therefore expect to pay generally first world prices. A New Zealand money converter is added to help you get an idea of what accommodation/auto rental/motor home rental/activity etc. will cost. Live and up to date rates are used in this currency converter.

Add the price you found in New Zealand money, it is already selected, and choose your own currency for the second box. Now, press "Click here to perform Currency Conversion". Naturally this procedure works in return, too. In the first field select your currency, and the New Zealand money in the next field. Should it fail to work hold the Ctrl button as you click.

If you have questions about the development of the NZ dollar and when it is the best time to buy contact the economist Peter Lavelle from Pure FX.

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