Photos: NZ's final new $5, $10 notes revealed

$5 note face (Supplied)
$5 note face (Supplied)

The final designs of New Zealand's first two denominations of a series of new banknotes have been unveiled – and they're bolder than ever.

The $5 and $10 notes were revealed at the Reserve Bank in Wellington this morning and are set to go into circulation mid-October.

The revamped notes are brighter than before, but also safer.

"We've done an upgrade to enhance security of the bank notes," says Reserve Bank deputy governor Geoff Bascand. "Over time they become easier to counterfeit."

As well as being harder to copy, the notes will be easier to check.

There's a clear hologram on the right side with a map of New Zealand, a bird on the left that changes colour when it's tilted, and the writing is raised.

The flora, the fauna and the famous faces remain including Sir Edmund Hillary on the $5 note.

"I think he'd be quietly delighted," says Sir Edmund's son, Peter Hillary. "He'd always go 'no no, time to move on', but actually he'd be quietly delighted."

Sir Edmund could forever be the face of the $5 note, but with growing talk of a cashless society could this be the last time our banknotes are changed?

"It's possible – people are speculating and talking about becoming a cashless society but we haven't seen it yet," says Mr Buscand.

While the new $5 and $10 notes will gradually begin circulation next month, it may take some time before one turns up in your wallet because the denominations aren't dispensed at ATMs.

The current notes will still be legal tender as they're slowly phased out, and the new $20, $50 and $100 notes will be released in April next year.

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