The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is New Zealand’s central bank and has three main functions. As set in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, these are:
- Operating monetary policy to maintain price stability
- Promoting the maintenance of a sound and efficient financial system
- Meeting the currency needs of the public
At the most basic level, the Reserve Bank ensures that people can buy and sell goods and services using money, instead of having to barter. Part of this involves providing currency. Cash is physically issued to the public by commercial banks, but they in turn must buy their cash from the Reserve Bank.
The Reserve Bank is the sole supplier of New Zealand bank notes and coins. We act as a wholesale distributor to the trading banks, and manage the design and manufacturing of the currency. We also withdraw damaged or unusable notes and coins to manage the quality of currency in circulation.