Clearer, brighter 20s, 50s and 100s as new banknotes arrive

The new $20, $50 and $100 notes will start reaching our pockets from mid-May following their official launch in Wellington this morning.

$100 note

The upgraded $5 and $10 notes were released last October 2015 but the current notes are still legal tender.

The new notes are the same sizes and denominations and will continue to be made of flexible plastic but include improved security features and a brighter, clearer design to make it easier for consumers.

$50 note

The themes remain the same, with respected New Zealanders, the Queen, and flora and fauna remaining central to the designs.

The new notes also use te reo Maori to identify them: Aotearoa - the Maori name for New Zealand; Te Putea Matua - the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's Maori name and the names of the native birds on the reverse of the notes (hoiho, whio, karearea, kokako, mohua) will continue to be written in Maori.

The new $20, $50 and $100 notes will start reaching our pockets following their official launch in Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS

The family of Apirana Ngata, whose image appears on the new and brighter $50, were at Government House for the unveiling of the new and brighter notes.

Sir Apirana Ngata was a prominent NZ Maori politician and lawyer known for his work in promoting and protecting Maori culture and language.

$20 note

The current banknotes were first issued in 1999 and since then security features and the technology for designing and printing banknotes have all advanced.

The Reserve Bank regularly reviews and improves New Zealand’s banknotes to ensure their features are updated and while counterfeiting rates in New Zealand are low compared to the rest of the world the changes aim to keep one step ahead of the criminals.

Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae described the new look bank notes as being "vibrant and beautifully designed with a world class security feature in it".