Kiwi fiver a world banknote finalist

  • 14/03/2016
New Zealand's new $5 note (Getty)
New Zealand's new $5 note (Getty)

It may be the lowest of New Zealand's banknotes, but that doesn't mean the humble fiver isn't among the world's best.

The latest edition of the $5 note -- featuring Sir Edmund Hillary, Mount Cook/Aoraki and a hoiho -- has been named as a finalist for banknote of the year by the International Bank Note Society.

The fivers were introduced alongside refreshed $10 bills into circulation in October last year, with a host of new security features designed to make spotting fraudulent banknotes easier for New Zealanders.

However, it wasn't courtesy of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's campaigning that it has received international recognition.

"We weren't aware of the award," RBNZ head of currency Brian Hayr told NZN.

"But it is pleasing to have the work involved in designing and producing our new banknotes recognised."

The $5 note will be competing against the United Kingdom's first polymer bank note, also a fiver, as well as offerings from China and Singapore to the international crown.

The winner will be announced in April.