TODAY |

NZ banknotes getting $80m redesign

New Zealand's banknotes are getting an $80 million revamp with new designs and more advanced security features.

Money

The current banknote's designs were issued in the early 1990s, upgraded to plastic in 1999 and haven't been touched since.

All notes will be updated, from $5 to $100, but the size, material and people featuring on the notes won't change. They will however have a "more modern look", have larger fonts stating note denominations and a bigger difference in colour between notes.

The Reserve Bank says security features are the "focus of the upgrade".

"While counterfeiting rates in New Zealand are low compared to the rest of the world, we need to stay one step ahead of the game," says Reserve Bank deputy governor Geoff Bascand.

The company which makes and prints our passports, Canadian Bank Note Company, has been tasked with the makeover.

Mr Bascand says the Reserve Bank expects to release "near final" designs in November.

You can then expect to see the notes in circulation around the end of next year, he says.

The new notes will co-circulate with the old ones for a while and both will be legal tender.

Mr Bascand says the Reserve Bank is also evaluating new minting technologies which could allow for coloured coins.