WELLINGTON (Web Desk) – New Zealand’s five-dollar note has been named the banknote of the year for 2015.

The honour is awarded every year by the International Bank Note Society.

To be eligible, a banknote must have been issued for the first time during the year of the award, and be in general circulation. It is assessed for its “artistic merit and/or innovative security features”, including use of colour, contrast and balance.


Almost 150 new banknotes were released last year, with “over three dozen” of sufficiently new design to be eligible for nomination.

Announcing the decision, the society said New Zealand’s $5 polymer note was a “clear winner”, but Scotland’s Clydesdale Bank five-pound note, Sweden’s 20 kronor note, Russia’s 100 rouble note, and Kazakhstan’s 20,000 tenge note were named as runners-up.

Four continents, four Middle East countries and four island nations were among the nominees.


The Reserve Bank of New Zealand released the new $5 and $10 notes in October as part of its Brighter Money range. The $5 shows mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary facing the South Island’s Aoraki/Mount Cook, and, on the other side, a rare yellow-eyed penguin and local flora.

The society praised the “stunning orange and brown” design and its “gorgeous polymer window”. The note is printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company in Ottawa.