Earlier this month the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) unveiled the nation’s new $5 note, which comes into circulation on September 1.
The design drew an underwhelming public response, with commentators on social media suggesting that it was “ugly”, “looks like vomit”, “hideous” and “like a mid-80s primary school mural”.
The new design includes a native Australian bird, the Eastern Spinebill, and Prickly Moses wattle, but the colour, size and picture of the Queen remained unchanged.
Now, rubbing salt into the wounds, comes news that New Zealand’s new $5 note has taken out the ‘Banknote of the Year’ award at the International Bank Note Society’s (IBNS) annual meeting.
The $5 bill beat 19 other finalists from the likes of Kazakhstan, Nicaragua and Cape Verde Islands to take out the award. Australia’s $5 note was not entered in the competition.
“We are proud of all of New Zealand’s new banknotes, but to have our $5 note recognised internationally is very special,” said RBNZ deputy governor Geoff Bascand. “The note incorporates some of the world’s most advanced security features, yet still beautifully showcases New Zealand’s history, culture and heritage.”
New Zealand new banknotes were designed and printed by the Canadian Banknote Company based in Ottawa, Canada.
Here’s the face of the winning note courtesy of the IBNS website. It features legendary New Zealand mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary, Mount Cook and a colour-changing yellow-eyed penguin.
And here’s the back of the note, featuring the same penguin as well as flora unique to New Zealand.
For comparison’s sake, here’s the design of the new Australian $5 note.