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A Guide to New Zealand Currency
New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2; notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report.
All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. You may find cards such as Diners and American Express are not accepted to pay for fuel or in some restaurants. The best plan is to carry an alternative card.
Banks are generally open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your own bank before leaving home.
Goods and Services Tax
All goods and services are subject to a 15 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot claim this tax back, however when a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor's home address the GST will not be charged. Talk the retailer about this option.
Due to the discontinuation of 1c, 2c and 5c pieces, purchases made in New Zealand are subject to "rounding" of amounts either up or down. The Reserve Bank believes most retailers are adopting the Swedish Rounding System. Under this system, prices ending in 1 to 4 cents will be rounded down and prices ending in 6 to 9 cents will be rounded up.
For example, a purchase of $15.14 would be rounded down to $15.10, and a purchase of $15.16 would be rounded up to $15.20.
Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping in New Zealand is not obligatory – even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for good service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not add service charges to their bills.