Innovation to note


Over recent decades, the Reserve Bank has placed significant emphasis on innovation to enhance its contribution to the New Zealand economy - taking on board lessons from the past to shape the future. This historical snapshot showcases just how far we have come.

The life of a note

Changing from paper to polymer banknotes in 1999 made our notes more durable.

Keeping prices stable

The Reserve Bank sets the Official Cash Rate to keep prices stable and keep our cost of living from fluctuating too much. The Bank works to keep inflation between 1 and 3 percent on average over the medium term, with a focus on the midpoint, 
2 percent.

Recycling our banknotes

The introduction of a recycling 
system means the disposal of 
polymer banknotes notes is now 
more environmentally friendly. 
Old or damaged polymer notes are destroyed by being shredded. 
The shredded notes are then recycled into other plastic products instead 
of being buried or burnt.

Decimal conversion

We’re approaching the 50th anniversary of the conversion from pounds, shillings and pence to decimal currency. The 1967 change from imperial to decimal made it simpler to calculate everyday transactions.

Making money flow

ESAS is the Reserve Bank of 
New Zealand's Exchange Settlement Account System which is used 
by banks and other approved 
financial institutions to settle their obligations on a Real-Time Gross Settlement basis.

Bank to bank

The ESAS systems allows financial institutions to settle accounts with each other. Billions of dollars worth of transactions are processed through ESAS every day, and the number of transactions continues to rise.

Computing power

A secure and efficient IT infrastructure is critical in driving innovation at 
the Bank.

Innovation to note


The new Series 7 Brighter Money banknotes are brighter, bolder and clearer than the Series 6 banknotes, and incorporate world-class security features. They are the same sizes and denominations, and continue to be made of flexible polymer. They feature cutting–edge security features and incorporate world-first design and printing techniques.

The themes of the notes remain the same, with the same respected New Zealanders, the Queen and flora and fauna remaining central to the designs. Here is an overview of the designs and details of the key security features and innovations to note.