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New Zealand 2015 Series 7 $10 Bank Note

New Zealand 2015 Series 7 $10 bank note feat. Kate Sheppard


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 $10 bill features New Zealand suffragette Kate Sheppard. As the most visible member of the suffrage movement in New Zealand, her work was instrumental in gaining women in her country the right to vote in 1893. The United States did not grant women suffrage on a federal level until the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

The note uses the same predominantly 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.


The front of the note features a portrait of Kate Sheppard based on a 1905 photograph. To the left of the portrait is a White Camelia (Camellia japonica ‘alba plena’). In 1893, all members of the New Zealand Parliament who had voted for the law giving women the right to vote were given a white camelia, which has since become associated with the New Zealand struggle for women’s suffrage. 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 number 10 is located beneath the camelia, and another number 10 lays on its side in the topmost left corner of the bill. When rotated, a small “puzzle number” 10 is formed out of a group of irregular and differently colored shapes that sit to the left of the flower.

Each denomination features a different bird native to New Zealand; The $10 note showcases the Blue Duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos). On the obverse, the blue duck contains a color changing security feature.

A holographic window sits to Sheppard’s right. It features a silver fern, a map of New Zealand, and a blue duck. The number 10 is embossed on the bottom. The note’s serial number is located to the right of the hologram and below the duck on the left of the bill.

The bank note’s background features a variety of colors and designs, but the dominant motif (seen on the left and right sides of the obverse) is a Maori Tukutuku panel known as mangaroa, or purapura whetu, which represents the Milky Way Galaxy. It can also symbolize the unity of men and women in society, which makes it a fitting pattern to use on this particular note.

New Zealand Series 7 $10 bank note reverse


The reverse of the New Zealand Series 7 $10 bank note features three main elements:

  • A Blue Duck with three ducklings – its Maori name WHIO (“FEE-oh”) is superimposed on the duckling immediately underneath;
  • The fern known as New Zealand Kiokio (Blechnum novae-zelandiae) is in green in the center of the note; and
  • A shrub known as Pineapple Scrub (Dracophyllum Menziesii) is on the left. The plant grows on South Island and Stewart Island.

NEW ZEALAND and AOTEAROA (the Maori name for the country) are printed in raised ink above the New Zealand kiokio and pineapple scrub.

The number 10 is found in different locations and in different sizes, with the largest 10 on the bottom also in raised ink. A small “puzzle number” 10 is printed backwards immediately to the right of the ducks.

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 number 10), except backwards.


Country:  New Zealand
Year Of Issue:  2015
Denomination:  NZ$10
Material:  Polymer
Printer: Canadian Banknote 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


In early September, 2015, the Te Hau ki Turanga Trust claimed that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand used the mangaroa pattern seen on the note from the Te Hau ki Turanga meeting house (wharenui) without permission[1]. The bank countered by saying that it has employed the pattern on banknotes for over two decades without complaint.


[1] http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11507595

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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