Currency and Money in New Zealand
The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar - NZ$.
• Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2
• Notes have values of $5, $10, $29, $50, $100
There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, visitors wishing to carry more than NZ$10,000 cash in or out of New Zealand are required to complete a Border Cash Report.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres.
All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted with American Express and Diners Club a little less widely accepted.
Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores.
Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN chip.
Goods and Services Tax
All goods and services are subject to a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price. It is not possible for visitors to claim this tax back. However if making a major purchase where the supplier has to ship the purchase to a visitor's overseas home address the GST will not be charged.
Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping in New Zealand is not common and most New Zealanders do not leave a tip in bars, restaurants, hotels and taxis. However, in cases of outstanding service or acts of kindness visitors may feel a small tip is appropriate. Hotels and restaurants do not add a service charge to bills. However, there are signs that in a small number of fashionable restaurants in the big cities a tipping culture is emerging.
Pre-paid Currency Cards
These are rapidly becoming the most popular and convenient method of carrying money for visitor. They behave much like credit and debit cards except they are issued by specialist foreign exchange companies. Most ATMs, restaurants, hotels and shops now accept them. Visitors typically buy a New Zealand dollar currency card in their own country before travel.
Travellers cheques in the major currencies - US Dollar, British Pound or Euro - are widely accepted in banks and major hotels. Australian Dollar travellers cheques are also popular. American Express, Thomas Cook and Visa are the most accepted brands.