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Money and duty free for New Zealand

Currency and Money

Currency information

New Zealand Dollar (NZD; symbol: NZ$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of NZ$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of NZ$2 and 1, and 50, 20 and 10 cents.

Note: In November 2006, the New Zealand Reserve Bank introduced new, smaller 50-, 20- and 10-cent coins. The old 5-cent coin has been phased out. Old coins can only be exchanged at the Reserve Bank.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.

ATM

ATMs are common and are available in all major towns and cities as well as at the country’s airports.

Travellers cheques

Can be exchanged at official rates at trading banks, large hotels and some shops. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars, Euro, Pounds Sterling or Australian Dollars. American Express, Visa and Thomas Cook cheques are the most frequently accepted.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0930-1630, except public holidays. Some larger city centre branches also open on Saturday until 1230.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import and export of either local or foreign currency, subject to declarations for cash amounts of NZ$10,000 upon departure or arrival.

Currency exchange

Exchange facilities are widely available throughout New Zealand.

New Zealand duty free

The following items may be imported into New Zealand by persons of 17 years of age and over without incurring customs duty:

• 50 cigarettes or 50g of tobacco or cigars or a mixture of all three weighing no more than 50g.
• 4.5L of wine or beer.
• 3 bottles of 1.125L of spirits or liqueurs.
• Other goods to the value of NZ$700.

Banned Imports

Because of the importance of agriculture and horticulture to the New Zealand economy, it is illegal to import most foodstuffs (meat, meat products, honey, fruit and dairy). Customs and agricultural officers view any breach of the laws extremely seriously and travellers are fined on the spot. Take care when importing wood products, such as golf clubs, shoes and items made from animal skin and feathers. For further information, contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate. 

The import of the following items is also prohibited: drugs, counterfeit goods, firearms and weapons (unless a special permit is obtained from the New Zealand police), ivory in any form, tortoise or turtle shell jewellery and ornaments, medicines using musk, rhinoceros or tiger derivatives, carvings or anything made from whalebone or bone from any other marine animals, cat skins or coats, and certain drugs (eg diuretics, depressants, stimulants, heart drugs, tranquillisers, sleeping pills) unless covered by a doctor's prescription. The New Zealand Customs Service website (www.customs.govt.nz) contains comprehensive advice for travellers and details all restricted items. There are heavy fines in place for those caught breaking these rules.

Banned Exports

There are export restrictions on firearms and ammunition, drugs, wildlife, plantlife, antiquities and works of art.