The fifth-series $50 banknote is purple. The obverse side features Māori leader and politician Apirana Ngata and the wharenui (meeting house) Porourangi. The house is within the grounds of Ngata's home marae, Waiomatatini, on the East Coast. The tukutuku design behind Ngata is called Poutama Porourangi and is based on a panel in the wharenui. It represents the search for knowledge and speaks to Ngata's achievements in the Māori and Pākehā worlds.
From 1999, a sixth series of banknotes (pictured above) were made from polymer (plastic) instead of paper. This allowed the introduction of a suite of new security features, including micro-printing, a shadow image of Queen Elizabeth II, and transparent windows.
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