The Reserve Bank today revealed the design of the first New Zealand bank notes to be made of flexible “polymer” plastic.
Polymer $20 bank notes will go into circulation from Monday 3 May. Other denominations will be issued in polymer during the remainder of 1999 and possibly into the beginning of 2000. From today collectors’ $20 presentation packs of uncut pairs and full size sheets are available for sale from the Reserve Bank.
Reserve Bank Currency Department Chief Manager Brian Lang said today: "The size and general design layout of all the new polymer bank notes will be unchanged.
“There are, however, two main differences. First, there are two transparent windows in the new bank notes, which allow you to see right through the bank note. These windows make polymer bank notes very difficult to forge. Secondly, polymer bank notes do not have a metallic thread like paper notes.
"Polymer bank notes are also more brightly coloured than paper bank notes, and the words and numerals on the polymer bank notes are more modern and distinct.
“There are many pluses with the change. Compared to paper notes, polymer bank notes are stronger and non-porous. They don’t get dirty and tatty, and they are much harder to tear. Also, old polymer bank notes can be recycled economically into manufactured items. In Australia items such as wheelbarrows and garden compost bins are made from recycled polymer bank notes. By contrast, in most countries old paper notes cannot be readily recycled and need to be burned or buried," Mr Lang concluded.
To assist people who handle money in their work, such as tellers and retailers, the Reserve Bank today released a pamphlet entitled The New Polymer Bank Notes. The free pamphlet shows the enhanced security features of polymer bank notes and how polymer bank notes should be handled. Copies can be obtained from the Reserve Bank by telephoning (04) 471 3660.
The collector's $20 presentation packs are available by telephoning 0800 426 467.
further information contact:
04 471 3767, pager 026 103 787