This morning (09/09/22) the sad news broke that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away at the age of 96.
As the country mourns, people have started asking what happens next.
For a lot of New Zealanders, the closest we’ve ever been to meeting The Queen was on our coins and cash. But with King Charles III taking over as New Zealand’s Head of State, will our money be getting replaced?
A spokesperson for the Reserve Bank has said ‘a change of sovereign makes no immediate difference to the use, acceptance or status of existing currency’.
So we can still use the change found at the bottom of our washing machines for quite a while yet.
In the UK a new portrait of Charles will be commissioned, from which millions of pounds worth of new currency will be printed by the Royal Mint and distributed across the UK.
Here in Aotearoa, money is typically only removed from circulation when it is deemed to be too damaged for use.
So cash will not be removed from circulation just because it shows the Queen. But it will gradually move out as notes reach the end of their life and new orders are brought in.
Twenty million notes on average are deemed unsuitable for circulation each year. $1.28 billion worth of $20 bills were in circulation in 2021 (which is about 64 million notes).
It is unknown when the new monarch will start to feature on NZ coins, with a spokesperson stating:
King Charles III might not start to appear on our coins for a few years as a result, and even longer for our $20 bills.