50 years of decimal currency

It is 50 years since New Zealand moved from pounds, shilling and pence to decimal currency.

It was such a big change banks closed from July 5 until July 10 1967 to give bank staff time to convert their records into dollars and cents.

Ministry for Culture and Heritage chief historian Neill Atkinson said the change was central to the development of New Zealand's national identity.

It was a break from colonial Britain but the notes were also the first New Zealand paper money to show the reigning monarch.

Both the National and Labour parties supported it.

The announcement of the change was made by the National government in 1963 and then Under-Secretary for Finance and future Prime Minister Rob Muldoon was given the task of overseeing it.

It was a big logistical exercise as 27 million new banknotes and 165 million new coins were minted and the old money was destroyed.

The new money was valued at $120 million and weighed more than 700 tonnes.

NZN

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