Saturday, November 22, 2014

Changes To Our Change

Put on your sunnies: New Zealand's new banknotes bring more splash when you flash your cash.
They're so bright they even have their own website to promote 'em.
I can imagine many people may initially consider them as excessively vivid forgeries!
Our main themes remain the same, but the colours are brighter with more security features. Plus there's some PC tokenism, with the maori name for New Zealand and the Reserve Bank appearing for the first time.
It's our first banknote upgrade since 1999 (when we switched from paper notes to polymer ones printed by Australia). The newies will be made in Canada for five years. So...good day, eh!
New notes for old...
With about 148 million banknotes in circulation (= NZ$4.7 billion), the oldies will be phased out as they're returned to the Reserve Bank. Target date for release of the new $5 and $10 is Oct.2015, with the $20, $50 and $100 notes released in April 2016. Both the new and current notes will circulate together, and of course both will be legal tender.
On our current notes are Edmund Hillary, explorer ($5/orange); Kate Sheppard, suffragette ($10/blue); The Queen ($20/green); Apirana Ngata, maori politician ($50, purple); Ernest Rutherford, physicist ($100, red)...with various birds, plants and other pretty pics to link into the themes.
But the new images appear to have been "tweeked". Hillary looks even more manly and rugged - is that possible?! - Ngata and Rutherford look 'smoother' (though I still couldn't identify them if my life depended on it!), Sheppard looks softer and more feminine (probably anathema to her values!), but the Queen...sorry, darls, the artists have done you no favours!
Interesting that these designs have been assessed by a range of folk (obviously security experts, equipment manufacturers etc) but also - get this - design, history and cultural experts, "to ensure they reflect NZ's culture and history"! Perhaps there's a subtle agenda by those experts: ease in some maori words, make a fool of the monarchy, nudge us towards PM John Key's 'Banana Republic' dream...?
Well, at least we haven't gone as far as THIS suggestion (below)...
Oh, my Lorde!!!

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