A practical currency and money guide to travel, living and doing business in Tokelau and the New Zealand dollar (NZD).
What's in this Tokelau currency guide:
The official currency of Tokelau (country code: TK) 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 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.
In a world where travel has become easy and accessible to the masses, travelling to Tokelau – a territory of New Zealand – still requires a dedication that dissuades all but the most committed visitors. It takes upwards of 24 hours to reach Tokelau by boat from its nearest neighbour, Samoa, and you can forget about flying – there’s no airstrip. Once you’re there, the ship that brought you is your only means of getting between the nation’s three atolls – Fakaofo, Atafu and Nukunonu. It takes nine hours to travel between the two most distant ones (Fakaofo and Atafu). Your ship will also be your ticket home, so you’ll have to be prepared to stay for at least five days until it’s ready to leave, or wait for the next one in a week's time.
The distances around the atolls are short, so one can travel on foot within an atoll. Tourists can travel between atolls on a dinghy or traditional outrigger canoe.
New Zealand dollar is the main currency used in Tokelau. Tokelau has no banks, no ATM's and no foreign exchange. Some islanders will accept Australian and Samoan currency. Don't expect to be able to use credit or debit cards, on Tokelau cash is king.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Tokelau:
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.
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 Tokelau. It may also be more convenient to use a local NZD bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Tokelau. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Tokelau. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Tokelau, 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.
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.
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.
17 Jan 2023
02 Nov 2022
31 Jan 2022
01 Feb 2018
02 Feb 2013
05 Feb 2003
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 Tokelau or planning a trip or maybe living there, so will need to exchange and spend New Zealand dollar.
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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.