Story: Coins and banknotes

First series of banknotes: £50 (4th of 4)

First series of banknotes: £50

The first-series £50 banknote is red. The carvings on the side are based on door-frame carvings from an early-19th-century Te Arawa wharenui (meeting house) in the Rotorua lakes area. The carving was acquired by Thomas Gillies and gifted to the Auckland Museum in 1877. The kōwhaiwhai (rafter) pattern is called Kōwhai Ngutukākā, and is based on the kākā beak, a native plant. The pattern is said to represent placing the interests of family and country before personal welfare. The zigzag kaokao pattern represents strength. On the back, the denomination is written in numerals and words.

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Reserve Bank of New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Coins and banknotes - A national currency, 1930s to 1960s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/36392/first-series-of-banknotes-ps50 (accessed 10 August 2020)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 20 Jun 2012