10 Jul 2015

The birth of NZ's decimal money

From Morning Report, 6:48 am on 10 July 2015

Today is the anniversary of Decimal Currency Day, which was introduced on 10 July, 1967.

New Zealand moved from a fractional currency of pounds, shillings and pence, to a decimal system of dollars and cents.

CROP Minister of Finance Robert Muldoon holding four of the new decimal bank notes With him is Bank of New Zealand bank hostess Adrienne Voss
Minister of Finance, Robert Muldoon holding four of the new decimal bank notes. With him is Bank of New Zealand bank hostess, Adrienne Voss. Photo: Evening Post, July 1967 Alexander Turnbull Library

There was nationwide public education campaign to help people make the change. Commercial transactions moved from 1 pound = 20 shillings = 240 pence = 960 farthings, to base 10.

Both retailers and customers had to adjust to the new money and the maths.

Now It Can Be Told

This informational film from 1967 describes how the new money was distributed around New Zealand for people to start using.

"Decimal Currency Day has arrived in New Zealand, the secret so secret that everyone new about it. A national operation controlled by seven people, and carried out by thousands."

More about decimal currency:

Your comments: