Story: Coins and banknotes

Fifth series of banknotes: $50 (4th of 5)

Fifth series of banknotes: $50

The fifth-series $50 banknote is purple. The obverse side features Māori leader and politician Āpirana Ngata and the wharenui (meeting house) Porourangi. The house is within the grounds of Ngata's home marae, Waiomatatini, on the East Coast. The tukutuku design behind Ngata is called Poutama Porourangi and is based on a panel in the wharenui. It represents the search for knowledge and speaks to Ngata's achievements in the Māori and Pākehā worlds.

The main features of the reverse side are the kōkako, Pureora Forest Park (home to the kōkako), the blue Entoloma mushroom and the supplejack vine.

From 1999, a sixth series of banknotes (pictured above) were made from polymer (plastic) instead of paper. This allowed the introduction of a suite of new security features, including micro-printing, a shadow image of Queen Elizabeth II, and transparent windows.

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Reserve Bank of New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Coins and banknotes - Decimal currency, 1960s to 2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/36414/fifth-series-of-banknotes-50 (accessed 22 October 2019)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 20 Jun 2012