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    Currency in the Cook Islands

    A practical currency and money guide to travel, living and doing business in the Cook Islands and the New Zealand dollar (NZD).


    What currency is used in the Cook Islands?

    The official currency of the Cook Islands (country code: CK) is the New Zealand dollar, with symbol NZ$ and currency code NZD.

    Things to know about the New Zealand dollar

    The New Zealand dollar is informally called the ‘kiwi’ by foreign exchange traders and analysts due to the kiwi bird, which is native to New Zealand, being something of a national symbol for the country. The kiwi bird is also depicted on New Zealand’s one-dollar coin.

    Although the New Zealand dollar is considered one of the eight FX ‘majors’, it is actually only the world’s eleventh most traded currency. Further to the other seven majors – the US dollar, euro, yen, pound, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and Swiss franc – the New Zealand dollar also falls behind the Mexican peso, the Chinese yuan and the Swedish krona in its share of the foreign exchange market (around 2%). The currencies of China and Mexico are not considered majors due to their emerging market status, while the krona’s market share has only exceeded that of the New Zealand dollar fairly recently (in 2016, according to the Bank for International Settlements) and is therefore not yet considered ahead of New Zealand’s currency.

    In the past two decades, the New Zealand dollar’s lowest value against the US dollar occurred in October 2000 when the NZD/USD exchange rate traded at just 0.3901. The currency’s two-decade high occurred in August 2011 when NZD/USD reached 0.8842.

    Among the majors, the New Zealand dollar is considered a riskier currency, which means that its value will fall against the larger majors (especially JPY, USD, CHF, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.

    The New Zealand dollar banknotes and coins

    The physical currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1, and $2. The banknotes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.

    The banknotes feature images of famous New Zealand historical figures, such as Sir Edmond Hillary, Sir Apirana Ngata, and Kate Sheppard. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.

    An example New Zealand dollar banknote


    Travel Ideas and Money Tips for the Cook Islands

    The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the Pacific Ocean, with 15 islands that spread over an area of 2 million square kilometers. It's a territory associated with New Zealand and is located in Oceania, near to American Samoa and French Polynesia.

    For travelers, the Cook Islands offer a unique blend of Polynesian culture, stunning natural beauty and a laid back island lifestyle. Visitors can explore the white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical vegetation, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. The main island of Rarotonga is known for its rugged interior and mountainous landscape, it also has a vibrant cultural scene, with traditional dance, music and art performances.

    The Cook Islands are also known for their rich history, as they were first settled by Polynesians around 1000 AD, and later by European explorers in the 18th century. Visitors can learn about this history by visiting ancient marae (sacred temples) and the cultural villages of the island.



    Expat Money & Business Guide to the Cook Islands

    Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.

    By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in the Cook Islands.

    For expats, the Cook Islands offer a relaxed lifestyle and a strong sense of community. The population is relatively small and the economy is based on tourism and agriculture. The cost of living can be relatively low, but it can also be affected by a lack of good housing options in some areas, and the cost of imported goods. The official language is English and the local currency is the New Zealand dollar.

    It's worth noting that the Cook Islands is a small community, with a population of around 17,000 people, so it may take some time for expats to adjust and build a social network. It's also not a developed country and the healthcare system and infrastructure are not on par with those of developed countries, so expats should be prepared for some differences in the level of services and facilities.

    Managing your finances in the Cook Islands

    Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in the Cook Islands:

    1. Understand New Zealand dollar currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the NZD exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.

    2. Use a local New Zealand dollar bank account: A local NZD bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in the Cook Islands. It may also be more convenient to use a local NZD bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.

    3. Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in the Cook Islands. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.

    4. Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in the Cook Islands. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

    5. Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in the Cook Islands, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.


    NZD/USD – Market Data

    The exchange rate of New Zealand dollar (NZD), or the amount of NZD that can be exchanged for a foreign currency, can fluctuate rapidly based on a number of factors, including economic conditions, interest rates, and political events. Below you can check the latest NZD/USD rate plus recent trend, chart, forecasts and historic rates.

    1 NZD = 0.6449 USD
    Sell NZD  →  Buy USD
    NZD to USD at 0.6446 is 2.5% above its 90-day average 0.6291 with range 0.5774-0.6505.
      1 USD = 1.5506 NZD
    NZDUSD :

    The New Zealand dollar weakened 20 percent in 2022 versus the US dollar as a result of the risk-off trade encouraged by the Ukraine situation and a hawkish Federal Reserve.

    The Kiwi dollar has been left behind as investors head for safer assets.

    NZD Forecasts

    17 Jan 2023
    0.1% 2 Week
    02 Nov 2022
    10.8% 3 Month
    31 Jan 2022
    2.1% 1 Year
    01 Feb 2018
    13% 5 Year
    02 Feb 2013
    23.7% 10 Year
    05 Feb 2003
    17.2% 20 Year
    NZD/USD historic rates & change to 31-Jan-2023


    Compare New Zealand dollar Exchange Rates & Fees

    The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make an International Money Transfer to the Cook Islands or planning a trip or maybe living there, so will need to exchange and spend New Zealand dollar.

    Loading comparison rates...

    ProviderAmountsRateTotal Cost

    It is important to note that the exchange rate of the New Zealand dollar can change rapidly and that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. It is advisable to carefully consider the risks and factors that may affect NZD exchange rates before making any financial decisions.


    The New Zealand dollar is also the domestic currency in 4 other countries.





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