A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to New Zealand
What's in this New Zealand currency guide:
The official currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar, with symbol NZ$ and currency code NZD.
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 weakened 10 percent as a result of the risk-off trade encouraged by the Ukraine situation and a hawkish Federal Reserve. The NZD dollar has fallen as investors head for safer assets.
05 May 2022
18 Feb 2022
19 May 2021
20 May 2017
21 May 2012
24 May 2002
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend New Zealand dollar.
New Zealand is a popular destination and is inexpensive and offers a lot of ways to save money. The locals are friendly and helpful. Getting around by bus is also fairly cheap, however eating out can be expensive so budget travelers may want to learn to cook. Getting around with flights is also fairly expensive as there is not much competition among airlines.
Credit cards are accepted across the country and ATMs are frequently available in cities and towns, though some of New Zealand’s highlights are in its beautiful countryside. If you prefer not to carry your main credit card on you at all times a Prepaid Travel Card can be useful to purchase before arrival.