A Presentation on
New Zealand Banknotes

by Scott de Young

Last updated
17 June 2004

News Update

The latest news on the

Banknotes of

New Zealand


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New 2004 Bollard $5 notes issued:

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand started issuing the new 2004 (04) Bollard $5 to the Banks for issue on Thursday June 17.

Keep an eye out for them!! and inform me of the highest serials you spot. Presumably they will have had printed more than the two million notes that appeared in 2003.

Will other denominations also appear?

Keep checking this site for the latest news.....

4 May 2004

New 2004 Bollard $5 printing in the news:

The New Zealand Herald, The Christchurch Press and the Waikato Times, amongst other newspapers ran articles about the poor condition of the currently circulating polymer $5 notes (featuring Ed Hillary). In the articles a Reserve Bank spokesman was quoted as saying "technology had improved since the first plastic fivers were printed in 1998. Two million fresh $5 notes were printed last year (the Bollards), and a second run would be printed later this year". So we can all look forward to some 04 dated $5 notes. Fingers crossed for some other denominations too!

26 January 2004
Upon the introduction of the 'new' Hillary $5 in 1992 the RBNZ made a presentation to each staff member of a single $5 note in  the packaging used for the sheets of four notes. This note was accompanied by a printed certificate that read: "Dear Staff Member, To commemorate the issue of our second decimal currency series bank notes, I am pleased to present to you one    of the first 'Hillary' notes printed. Yours sincerely Don Brash" (Facsimile signature). It appears that nearly 500 may have been issued but it has taken nearly 12 years for one to show up.        The note in my example is serial numbered AA 036339

26 January 2004
It would now seem that there were ten, rather than five low numbered presentation books as the book containing notes serial numbered 000013 & 000014 (the 7th pair) has been sighted. Also I have $1 0A 000011 in my collection and it shows signs of having been removed from a book. The matching $2 0A0 0000011 also has been sighted.

19 November 2003
The new 2003 dated $5 note sheets of 40 notes commenced issue this week from NZ Post (Who issue coins and notes on behalf of the Reserve Bank). The issue price is NZ$299. There is a total of 500 sheets available. Their serial numbers range from a low of 054004 to a high of 056445, with each note on the sheet bearing the same serial numbers.

4 September 2003
Sharp eyed collectors of New Zealand's Polymer issues may have noticed that the three recent issues of the '02' $10 and $20 and the '03' Bollard $5 all have had a significant change of numbering system. Whilst the 99 issues (and most polymer issues printed by Note Printing Australia) all had there serial numbers printed in reverse order, eg 999999 down to wherever they finished, the new issues have reverted back to the logical sequence of starting at 000001 and going upwards.                                                     The highest serial numbers you should be able to locate are:

$5 03 056500   $10 02 165000   $20 02 679000

26 June 2003
NEW SIGNATURE "BOLLARD" $5 note issued today!

The new 2003 dated $5 note commenced issue from today according to a press release from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. (see below).

All notes are dated 03 for 2003. Previous polymer $5 are all dated 99 for 1999. This is the first denomination to be issued bearing the signature of the new Governor of the Reserve Bank, Alan Bollard who replaced Donald Brash in September 2002.  Press release follows...

Press Release: Reserve Bank of New Zealand, 26 June 2003

First 'Bollard' signed bank notes issued

The Reserve Bank today announced that the first bank notes with the signature of Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard have been issued for release into general circulation.  Dr Bollard was appointed Governor during September 2002.

Two million $5 notes with Dr Bollard's signature have been printed.  One hundred thousand were released today and the rest will probably be issued over the next six months.                       The first two digits of the serial number are 03. 
Currency Manager Brian Lang said today "Dr Bollard is the tenth person to sign New Zealand bank notes. The first notes were issued by the Bank in 1934 and were signed by the then Governor, Lesley Lefeaux.

"It's important to note that as of today most $5 notes in circulation still carry former Governor Don Brash's signature, as the new $5 notes issued today are less than 1 per cent out of a total of  approximately 17.4 million $5 notes in circulation.  Both are legal tender.

"This is the first reprint since 1999 for this denomination. The longer-life of polymer notes means that re-print runs are less frequent.  When all New Zealand bank notes were made of paper, a print run was required each year for most denominations to replace notes withdrawn from circulation.

"The full range of notes probably won't all carry Dr Bollard's signature for some time yet," Mr Lang concluded.

20 June 2003
Noble Numismatics  (Sydney) next auction catalogue has now been uploaded to their website, noblenumismatics.com.au  Included amongst the Trading Bank and Pre-Decimal Specimens is a proof artists mock-up of an unissued $2 bank note. (See Home page for image). Estimated at A$10,000 it is a rarely seen proof from the archives of  Thomas de la Rue, the printers of New Zealand's Banknotes at the time of the changeover from pounds sterling to decimal currency in 1967.

17 May 2003
May 29th marks the 50th anniversary of Edmund Hillary's ascent of Mt Everest on 29 May 1953. An image of an autographed $5 note can be seen on the decimal notes images page. The New Zealand Post Office will release a pair of stamps to commemorate this event. Other issues both official and private can probably be expected over the next few weeks. I can supply uncirculated 1999 $5 (various prefixes) for A$10 plus postage.

17 March 2003
I have now updated the links on the image pages, so there are now a wide variety of interesting images to look at. Hope you enjoy some of my notes. Will add others eventually.

16 March 2003
I have available stocks of the 1999 NZ $5 and $10 notes in uncirculated. I can also supply Australian 1997 $5 TEST notes.

5 March 2003
I have now got the ability to update this site again so hopefully new items will appear on a regular basis. More images will be loaded into the images pages also.

6 February 2003
The 2002 dated polymer $10 notes have started appearing in circulation. Print run details are to be confirmed.

22 December 2002
The 2002 same numbered denominational sets (prefixed 02) are now available. All are signed by the previous Governor Dr Brash.

17 December 2002
The 2002 dated polymer $20 notes entered circulation today. It seems that there were one million sheets of 40 notes printed going by serial numbers sighted since. (minus error notes that were not issued). Actual figures will appear when they are confirmed.

10 December 2002
A number of  Hardie II Specimen notes ($1 to $100) have appeared on the market in the US. Some of the $100 notes are laminated. The reason for this is yet to be determined. Possibly they have come from the De la Rue archives.

1 October 2002
A pair of Wilks $2 replacement notes have come to my attention that both contain a dropped digit in the top right hand serial number. They are numbered 9Y0 515263* and 9Y0 515264*. I was fortunate enough to acquire the second note , which can be seen on the Error Banknote Images page of this site.

23 September 2002
Today, Dr Alan Bollard took up his new position as Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. He was formerly The Secretary to the Treasury in New Zealand. His appointment was to late to have his signature appear on the (02) $10 and $20 notes which had already begun production at Note Printing Australia.

17 June 2002
Today I received a scan of  an important new find in the New Zealand banknote hobby. A friend has located and acquired another 0C prefixed Wilks star replacement note.
Which means there are now TWO notes known. This one numbered  0C 005070* is only 59 serial numbers higher than the other known note 0C 005011*. Click on the serial number to see image. 0C 005011* is linked on Decimal Note Images page.

3June 2002

The 2002 / 2003 edition of Tony Grant's New Zealand catalogue of coins, banknotes and tokens is now available from the author for US$6 plus US$2 postage at     sales@ial.net.nz
Tony's catalogue is a great companion volume to my book and will be most useful to all collectors of New Zealand numismatics.

        8 May 2002
The Auckland War Memorial Museum in NZ will be honouring Sir Edmund Hillary (featured on the current $5 note) with a display showcasing his life story, and achievements, starting in October 2002. The display will also appear for a period of time in England and in the USA and will no doubt be a worthy way to spend a day honouring the world's most famous New Zealander.                   

7 May 2002
Thomas De La Rue announced on their website on 26 March 2002 that they were ceasing banknote manufacture at their Singapore branch. New Zealand's notes were printed there from 1992 until 1996.

26 April 2002
The Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Don Brash, today announced his resignation from the position.
This means that the next print run of NZ bank notes will have a new signatory, although this will probably be some time off as sufficient notes are currently held in the Reserve Banks vaults.

25 April 2002
The website Polymernotes.com is now up and running.
It is the premier site for collectors of polymer notes including New Zealand issues.

24 April 2002
The 0C prefixed $1 Wilks star note in the Noble auction sold for A$7,200plus16.5% commission. The Z 000001 10/- note sold for a record A$40,000 plus16.5%.       
All prices realised are available on Noble Numismatics website.

6 March 2002:
R. L. Knight, the signatory from 1975 - 1977   passed away in Wellington (NZ) today. Aged 71.

28 February 2002
The Lavin collection of New Zealand banknotes is being offered at auction by Australian auction house Noble Numismatics.
The collection includes some of the earliest and rarest trading banknotes, the serial number Z 000001 10/- of 1934 (Lefeaux) the very first note of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Wilks star notes (including the unique 0Cprefixnote) and many other fine notes.
Also included are other properties including pre-decimal specimen notes and low numbered notes of reserve bank issues. The catalogue is available for viewing, downloading or purchase at their website.
I recommend the hard copy catalogue as a must for any New Zealand collector's numismatic library. Most notes are pictured!
The auction is on Thursday March 21st in Sydney, Australia.
        Click here for Noble Numismatics.

20 February 2002
The RBNZ same numbered banknote sets for 2002 (02) should be available from the Reserve Bank some time in June 2002

For Polymer Banknotes of the World click on 'Polymernotes.com' to go to Trevor Wilkin's site. (Now LIVE)

A book on the sterling (Pre-Decimal) issues, 1934-1967 is currently being researched and should be available some time in  2004.