The new $20, $50 and $100 banknotes will be launched today by the Governor General at a special event at Government House in Wellington. We have put together this guide on everything you need to know about them.

How are they different?

The new 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.


Updated security features (see graphic) make it harder to counterfeit our notes - but easier for you to check them.

Who designed them?

The Canadian Banknote Company in Ottawa, Canada.

What about the $5 and $10 notes?

These were released in October and are widely in circulation.

What about the old notes?

The new notes will co-circulate with the current notes for a period of time and both sets will be legal tender.

What about coins?


Coins will be staying the same

How do I spot a fake note?

- Notes have two clear windows - one oval and one fern shaped. Check that they're both there and don't look stuck on.

- Look for the watermark - when you hold the note to the light you should be able to see a shadow of the queen next to the oval window.

- Look at the note through a magnifying glass - "RBNZ" is printed on the notes in tiny letters.

- Run your fingers over the note - you should be able to feel raised printing.

- Check the two serial numbers on the note - they should match. If you have notes with the same serial, some or all of them could be fake.

- Whip out your ultraviolet light. Special ink means the notes look dull except for special features - like the big numbers, which will glow if real.

- All images will appear sharp and defined, not fuzzy and washed out.

- Above the fern shaped window is fern facing the other way - hold the note to the light to check it matches the one on the opposite side.

- There should not be any blotches or runny bits of ink, as the notes are made with water resistant polymer inks.

What should I do with a suspicious note?

If you think one of the notes does not have all the security features, try and avoid handling it so police can trace the counterfeiter. You should either refuse to accept it or store it in a bag or envelope and inform police.