New bank notes coming next year

KELLY DENNETT
Last updated 16:47 05/07/2014

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New bank note designs will be introduced next year for the first time since the 1990s, costing the Reserve Bank an estimated $80m over the next five years. 

The modernised cash would feature updated security settings to keep up with technological advances made in the past few decades, the Reserve Bank deputy governor Geoff Bascand announced today. 

He said The Canadian Bank Note Company, producers of the New Zealand passport, would design and produce the new notes.

The notes would remain the same size and denomination as the current ones and would continue to feature New Zealand flora, fauna and famous faces Edmund Hillary and Kate Sheppard. 

New faces won't appear for security reasons.

The bank was tight lipped on the exact security features but said the notes would feature a higher colour contrast, larger print and be "optically variable". 

Final designs would be made available to the public in November after they had been tested. The new notes would be released in stages late next year. 

The old notes will continue to circulate with the new for a period of time. 

An education campaign will be run to familiarise the public and businesses with the new notes before they come into circulation. 

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