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New Zealand 2015 $5 Bank Note

New Zealand 2015 $5 Bank Note feat. Sir Edmund Hillary


The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Series 7 bank notes were introduced in October 2015 with the release of the NZ$5 and $10 denominations (at the time of writing, $20, $50 and $100 notes are set for release in April 2016). Like Series 6 (originally issued in 1999), Series 7 notes are made of polypropylene plastic, or polymer. Polymer notes tend to be more durable, cleaner, and easier to make–reducing the cost of production. Old or damaged notes also have the advantage of being recyclable into other plastic products.

Series 7 uses the same themes and motifs as its Series 6 counterparts. The $5 bill features world-famous New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary who, along with Tibetan sherpa Tenzing Norgay, was the first man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world.

The note uses the same predominantly orange-blue-green color scheme and is also the same size as its Series 6 predecessor.

The main differences are improved security features, a brighter, crisper look, larger print and the greater incorporation of Maori words and design elements. The Maori are the indigenous, ethnically Polynesian inhabitants of New Zealand.


Two elements dominate the obverse or front of the note.

A left profile effigy of Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008) occupies a solid fourth of the note’s surface, sharing the center of the note with an image of Mt. Cook (Maori: Aoraki)–the highest peak in New Zealand, located on South Island. The mountain is named for the British Captain James Cook, the first known European to have visited the islands. RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND and TE PŪTEA MATUA (the Maori name for the bank) are printed in raised ink, along with the signature of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Graeme Wheeler. A large numeral 5 is located beneath Mt. Cook, and another numeral 5 lays on its side in the topmost left corner of the bill. When rotated, a small “puzzle number” five is formed out of a group of irregular and differently colored shapes that sit to the left of Mt. Cook.

Each denomination features a different bird native to New Zealand; the $5 note showcases the Yellow-Eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes). On the obverse, the penguin contains a color changing security feature.

A holographic window sits to Hillary’s right. It features a silver fern, a map of New Zealand, and a Yellow-Eyed Penguin. The numeral 5 is embossed on the bottom. The note’s serial number is located to the right of the hologram and below the penguin on the left of the bill.

The bank note’s background features a variety of colors and designs, but the dominant motif is a zigzag, kaokao pattern drawn from traditional Maori textile arts, and the Tane-Nui-A-Rangi meeting house specifically.New Zealand 2015 $5 Bank Note, reverse


The reverse of the New Zealand Series 7 $5 bank note features three main elements:

  • The Yellow-Eyed Penguin – its Maori name HOIHO is printed underneath it and to the left;
  • The pink and purple Campbell Island Daisy (Pleurophyllum speciosum), native to Campbell and Auckland Islands; and
  • A view of Northwest Bay on Campbell Island, the southernmost island of New Zealand located below the Antarctic Circle and home to the Yellow-Eyed Penguin.

NEW ZEALAND and AOTEAROA (the Maori name for the country) are printed in raised ink above the daisies.

The numeral 5 is found in different locations and in different sizes, with the largest five on the bottom also in raised ink. A small “puzzle number” 5 is printed backwards immediately to the right of the penguin.

Also to the right of the penguin is a small color-changing fern surrounded by Maori motifs.

The holographic window on the left features the same elements as on the obverse (including an embossed numeral 5), except backwards.

Designer(s): Jorge Peral is a master engraver and vice-president of design at the Canadian Bank Note Company.


Country:  New Zealand
Year Of Issue:  2015
Denomination:  NZ$5
Material:  Polymer
Printer: Canadian Bank Note Company

Security Features:

Holographic Windows:  Front & Back
Raised Ink:  Front & Back
Embossed Printing:  Front & Back
Color-Changing Design Elements:  Front & Back
Puzzle Numbers:  Front & Back



CoinWeek IQ
CoinWeek IQ
With CoinWeek IQ, the editors and writers of CoinWeek dig deeper than the usual numismatic article. CoinWeek IQ provides collectors and numismatists with in-depth information, pedigree histories, and market analysis of U.S. coins and currency.

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