NZ - New polymer money to be issued? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Do we have any New Zealand readers? Has this been posted about "new polymer" bills to be issued?

key paragraph:

To meet demand for banknotes, the Reserve Bank will have $6.5 billion in circulation and on reserve instead of the usual $4b. Of this $2.5b will be in circulation and the rest in reserve - withdrawn notes and new polymer notes ready to be issued.

[sounds odd to me. Usually there is $4b in circulation.. but to meet the extra demand there will now be $2.5b in circulation.. and the rest in reserve??? Including new polymer notes? Can someone from NZ provide more info? Interesting time to have a change in money.]

New Zealand News from The Press - Wednesday, September 15, 1999

Y2K fears to feed cash frenzy

New Zealand will be awash with cash on Saturday, January 1, the first day of the new millennium, but there will be little to spend it on. Shops and supermarkets will be closed, and a Lotto super draw moved to another day.

The cash will come from hundreds of thousands of people stocking up because of fear, exaggerated and misplaced, that the Year 2000 computer bug will jam the banking system, and hence all business, from January 1.

This will be the quietest shopping day for years, but a great chance for the hard-hit racing industry to make a killing, and for casinos and bars to rake in dollars.

Reserve Bank surveys suggest about 10,000 New Zealanders will withdraw up to $10,000 cash from the banks in the run-up to January 1 in fear of the Year 2000 bug. Hundreds of thousands more will stock up with lesser amounts.

Except for tourist shops and some supermarkets in holiday-resort areas, retailers will be shut on January 1, says the Retail and Wholesale Merchants' Association.

For example, St Luke's Group, which owns malls throughout New Zealand, including Riccarton, will not require tenants to open.

The government-liaison executive of the federation, Barry Hellberg, said normal holiday trading would resume on January 2.

The Lotteries Commission has cancelled its usual Lotto super draw on the Saturday because most shops will be closed. It will have a New Year's eve draw on the Friday night. Special draws will be held the following week, said the commission's public relations manager, Lesley Meadows.

The Auckland Racing Club's New Year's Day meeting is the biggest money spinner on the racing calendar. This year the Auckland Cup will be augmented by events to mark the new millennium. With just pubs, casinos, cinemas, and burglars in the competition, it should be a record day for the club.

Reserve Bank deputy governor Don Carr yesterday cautioned people against holding too much cash at home. This could attract criminals, he said. He suggests householders have on hand as much cash for January 1 as they would for a normal four-day holiday weekend.

The Reserve Bank will offer trading banks unlimited credit over the weekend to meet any panic run of withdrawals. Even if there is a run it will not put banks at risk: they are solvent, and the Reserve Bank will ensure liquidity.

With tests of trading bank systems well advanced, eftpos and ATMs will be working, except for the normal proportion of mechanical failures.

To meet demand for banknotes, the Reserve Bank will have $6.5 billion in circulation and on reserve instead of the usual $4b. Of this $2.5b will be in circulation and the rest in reserve - withdrawn notes and new polymer notes ready to be issued.

More money will be in circulation: 7 per cent more notes and cash are on issue than last year.

"We don't know whether everyone is holding a little more, a few people are holding a lot more, or whether it is to do with casinos, or savings," Dr Carr said.

The days of people holding less notes because of eftpos and credit cards have not arrived.

"But come Year 2000 the safest place for money to be is in its normal place, in the bank," Dr Carr said.


-- Linda (, September 17, 1999


* * * 19990917 Friday

This (UNDATED!... Why do "professionals" do this?) item from

< ndex.html >

Longer Life, Fewer Counterfeits Plastic Money Under Review

In terms of printing and processing, it feels and acts like paper but it has greater strength than traditional papers.  Nancy Butchart, marketing manager, Domtar Securities Paper

The polymer Australian five dollar note features a transparent window with a plant design the lower right corner. (

W A S H I N G T O N, March 31 The day could come when the dollar bill you pull out of your wallet to pay for your groceries will be made of plastic. We're not talking about the credit card kind of plastic. This would be a bona fide note, the U.S. greenback, made of polymer or a paper-plastic mix. The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing is now testing several such bills. Booster have list of pluses for plastic: It lasts longer, although how much longer is in dispute; it can't be counterfeited using a computer ink-jet printer, and it can be recycled.

Times of Change Skeptics worry the public would reject plastic bills, and that they would force an expensive retooling of currency-sorting and counting machines. And some even worry that such a radical change could subtly undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar. No matter what happens with the plastic bill, this much is clear: the old bills are history. The Treasury Department is in the middle of a multiyear makeover of the nation's currency, the first in nearly six decades. It rolled out new $100 notes in 1996 and new $50 bills last year and plans new $20s later this year. The newer paper bills feature enlarged portraits, watermarks, a numeral in color-shifting ink and a polymer security thread. Officials aren't sure they want to take another big step. "We're pretty far down the road from making any decision about proceeding," said Treasury Assistant Secretary Howard Schloss.

A Material Issue Nevertheless, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving is testing a variety of materials, including a plastic developed by the Reserve Bank of Australia and a paper-plastic sandwich produced by a Canadian company. The government won't say what its timetable is, but industry officials assume such a change wouldn't be made before 2000 or 2001. Australia issued the world's first plastic currency in 1988a $10 note commemorating its bicentennial. It finished converting all of its notes to the new material in 1996. "We're very comfortable and very happy with them," said Neil Mackrell, the reserve bank's chief representative in New York. Australia boasts its plastic notes last four times as long as conventional currencyand thus provide big cost savings. But Lanse Crane, the chief executive of Crane & Co. Inc. of Dalton, Mass., the company that manufactures paper for U.S. bills, says Australia's figures are based on a seven-month life for a paper bill. The most-circulated U.S. billthe $1 notenow lasts 18 months. Australia also has produced notes for Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Kuwait, Western Samoa, Singapore, Brunei, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Peep Holes and More Thailand's new blue polymer 50-baht note is one tough bill. It folds readily but can't be torn with the fingers. The bill worth $1.32is thinner than a U.S. paper note and feels slick on the back. In spots it has an engraved feel similar to a traditional bank note. But the most notable feature is a small clear window, embossed with a portrait of Thailand's king, aimed at preventing counterfeiters from using home computer printers. Secret Service officials have been particularly concerned about the growing use of computer ink-jet technology to produce fake U.S. bills. They are relatively poor in quality but some have been passed to busy or unobservant cash handlers. "A polymer note incorporating a clear Mylar window would definitely foil counterfeiting by personal computer and ink-jet printer," said Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., who has scheduled a hearing today to examine the growing threat. "The $64,000 question remains: What sort of public acceptance would it receive?" Plastic Sandwich Domtar Inc. of Montreal thinks it has the solution: a thin film positioned between two layers of very light cotton paper. "In terms of printing and processing, it feels and acts like paper but it has greater strength than traditional papers," said Nancy Butchart, marketing manager for Domtar Securities Paper. Kawika Daguio of the American Bankers Association said bankers worry any change might confuse the public. The United States, unlike other nations, never withdraws its currency from circulation. Thus cash handlers potentially could be forced to deal with three different designs for each denominationold-style paper, new-style paper and plastic or a paper-plastic sandwich. "Bankers are the ones who answer all the questions, and it's their lines which would be held up by questions," he said. "We'd rather not go there."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Regards, Bob Mangus

* * *

-- Robert Mangus (, September 17, 1999.

Thanks Robert for the article. What do you mean - undated? It says March 31st. Doesn't mention New Zealand. If we have any New Zealanders I would still like to know if the new polymer bills are common knowledge. Still seems a strange (and troubling?) time to introduce new currency. Wonder if any other countries are planning the same (like the U.S.?).

-- Linda (, September 17, 1999.

Since the new US $20 bills have been around for a while, the March 31 date on the ABCNEWS article would presumably be from a previous year.


-- Jerry B (, September 17, 1999.

The new polymer $20 notes have been out for a few months now,very similiar to the Ozzie ones that they have had for 10 or more years

-- matt (, September 18, 1999.

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