The Use of New Zealand Banknotes and Coins in Advertising

Images or reproductions of New Zealand banknotes and coins are sometimes used in advertising. Legislation allows for this, however the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, 1989 must be considered. The sections of this Act that are relevant for advertising include:

  • Section 28: a person must not deliberately deface, disfigure or mutilate any banknote without the permission of the Bank. (For example, where the portrait on a banknote is replaced by another person).
  • Section 30: A person must not make, design or reproduce, issue, use or publish anything resembling a banknote or coin or having such likeness that it could be mistaken for a real banknote or coin.

Advertisements can contain reproductions of complete, scaled, one-sided images of notes and coins, complete images of notes reproduced in animated form, and also photos and images of real banknotes or coins in a larger picture or photograph.

If choosing to reproduce images of New Zealand currency in an advertisement, the nature of the image and the context in which it is used should be carefully considered and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand consulted if there is any concern that legislation may be breached.

Copyright legislation must also be considered if reproducing currency for an advertisement – the Reserve Bank is the copyright owner of the currency design, and copyright of individual images used on the note may be held by third parties.

More detailed information can be found on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s website.