'Vomit' vs 'respect': The new Australian and New Zealand banknotes

The Queen features on the new Australian and New Zealand banknotes. Her image on the Australian note, left, has come under fire.
The Queen features on the new Australian and New Zealand banknotes. Her image on the Australian note, left, has come under fire.

Pity the Queen. She's approaching 90 and she's treated like "vomit" in Australia.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has unveiled the design of the country's new $5 banknote, and the reaction has been mixed.

From "it looks like vomit" to "what even is that", cash carriers of Australia are weighing in with their comments on the colourful new design.

The new note, which will be issued into circulation from September, will keep the same basic colour, size, and people portrayed as the old fiver, but the design is a bit different.

When the series is complete, each New Australian banknote will depict a different species of Australian wattle and a native bird, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens announced today.

"On the $5 banknote, these are the prickly Moses wattle and Eastern Spinebill," he said in a statement.
Those are the yellow caterpillar looking things and the little bird, drawn in the middle of the note next to the slightly aged and more surly-looking queen.

The design took in research involving focus groups, and a "culmination of a process of extensive consultation with subject-matter experts and the cash-handling industry", the RBA said.

But despite the research, not everyone is happy with the design. One user has gone so far as to threaten never to use the denomination again.





The new notes will also feature a new "tactile" feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between denominations.

And yes, people have managed to make fun of that as well.



The $5 banknote was first issued in Australia in 1967, the year after the currency was changed from the pound to the dollar.

The original design, printed on a paper note, featured botanist Sir Joseph Banks and humanitarian Caroline Chisholm.

The polymer note was first introduced in 1992, followed in 1995 by another design printed in a deeper shade of mauve to help confused users distinguish it from the similarly coloured $10 banknote.

The current design features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II which was commissioned by the RBA in 1984. On the reverse side are pictures of old and new Parliament Houses.

A limited edition commemorative fiver was also introduced in 2001 for that year only, features Sir Henry Parkes on one side and Catherine Helen Spence on the other.

Issuance of the new $5 banknote will commence on 1 September, although it will take some time for the new banknotes to be widely circulated, the RBA has warned.

The current series of banknotes can continue to be used even after the new banknotes are issued.

The Australian notes follow New Zealand's unveiling of its new banknotes.

The new Kiwi banknotes. Photo / Supplied
The new Kiwi banknotes. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand's cash is also more brightly coloured and features native wildlife, but have faced significantly less ridicule.

The new Kiwi notes have the value shown in larger print, come in brighter colours and have a clearer design, which the Reserve Bank hopes will help blind and visually-impaired people. They're the same size as current notes and are made of the same material.

They use Te Reo Maori to identify them - Aotearoa and Te Putea Matua (the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's Maori name). The names of native birds on the reverse of the notes will continue to be written in Maori.

- news.com.au

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