By The Royal Australian Mint….
History was made today on March 4, 2015, with three Pacific Island nations marking the introduction of their own brand-new circulating coins at the official coin striking ceremony at the Royal Australian Mint.
With the Mint’s assistance and expertise, the Cook Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu have embarked on the important journey of coin reform, bringing each country’s coinage system in line with international best practices.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said this was a significant time for the Royal Australian Mint and the three nations.
“These partnerships are an example of how the Australian Government is committed to further strengthening relationships with our Pacific neighbours,” Ms. O’Dwyer said.
“The Royal Australian Mint has demonstrated how valuable knowledge, technology and production facilities may be shared across borders and they are to be commended for that.”
International dignitaries and diplomatic representatives from the Cook Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu gathered for the exclusive ceremonial coin striking, which saw all 16 coins being struck during the proceedings.
Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid said with today’s coining ceremony, the Mint has a proud record of assisting five countries with coinage reforms in just over three years.
“We have been able to assist our neighbors in producing smaller, lighter coins with designs of cultural significance to the people,” said Mr. MacDiarmid.
“Their new coins are now in line with international trends, resulting in lower production costs [that] translate into savings for the countries.”
The High Commissioner of Tonga, HRH Princess Angelika Tuku’aho, the Cook Islands Minister for Finance Mr. Mark Brown and the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu Mr. Peter Tari will strike their own country’s new coins.
The new island nation coins will be launched in each country over the coming months. The three coinage reforms are timed to recognize significant national milestones, namely 50 years of self-government for the Cook Islands, the Coronation of King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga and the 35th Anniversary of Independence for the Republic of Vanuatu.
HRH Princess Angelika Tuku’aho had the extremely rare honor of being able to strike a coin which features an effigy of her father, King Tupou VI.