Currencies by Country:

What is the New Zealand dollar (NZD)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives New Zealand a Aaa rating, with a stable outlook. Fitch has a stable outlook with a AA rating. Finally, S&P last issued a AA rating, with a stable outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

Central Bank Rate

The current central bank interest rate is 2.50%. This is the same as 2011, which was 2.50%.


In 2009 the total GDP was $126,679,321,011 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $29,352. It fell by -0.47% over the previous year.


The latest unemployment rate for 2012 is 6.70%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 115.25.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Prime Minister John Key, and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth IIGovernor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae (in a ceremonial role).

Currency Details

The New Zealand dollar, denoted by NZD or sometimes NZ$, is the official currency used in New Zealand. The Kiwi (an informal term for the currency) is also officially used in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and the Pitcairn Islands. Each dollar can be subdivided into 100 cents. The NZD was introduced in 1967 to replace the New Zealand pound when the country decimalized its currency.

Interesting Facts about the NZD

The note is the only note featuring a Maori on the obverse. All the names of the birds on the reverse are in Maori, and all   begin with a consonant. A majority of the banknotes feature males, but the and    notes feature women. A majority of the banknotes feature deceased people, but the   people on the and notes are still alive. The note is the only note with a citizen of another country   on the obverse. The note is the only note to have a special object in the   bottom left-hand corner.

Moody’s Rating
Aaa, 20 Oct 2002
S&P Rating

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The Governor-General represents the Queen of New Zealand as head of state. The New Zealand Parliament is unicameral, consisting of the House of Representatives. The House has 120 members from which a Cabinet of about 20 ministers is appointed. No single written constitution exists, however the Constitution Act of 1986 is the principal formal statement of New Zealand’s constitutional structure. The Prime Minister leads the Cabinet. The highest court in the nation is the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The Supreme Court was established in 2004 following the passage of the Supreme Court Act in 2003. The Act abolished the option to appeal Court of Appeal rulings to the Privy Council in London. The current Chief Justice is Dame Sian Elias. New Zealand’s judiciary also has a High Court, which deals with serious criminal offences and civil matters, and a Court of Appeal, as well as subordinate courts.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006) Head of Government Prime Minister John KEY (since 19 November 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Bill ENGLISH (since 19 November 2008) Cabinet Executive Council appointed by the governor general on the recommendation of the prime minister Elections the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general

Key Economic Factors


The past two decades, for New Zealand, have been characterized most by its transformation from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to an industrialized, free market economy that holds a legitimate place in global competition. This significant growth has boosted real incomes, developed technology in the industrial sector, and kept inflationary pressures under check. GDP per capita has increased steadily for more than half a decade. New Zealand is heavily dependent on trade, especially agricultural products, to drive economic growth (of note is that exports constitute one-fifth of GDP). New Zealand has a generally resilient economy, and the Labor Government promises that expenditures on health, education and pensions will increase proportionately to output.

Key Industries:

Food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism and mining.

Agricultural Products:

Wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables, wool, beef, lamb, mutton, dairy products and fish.

Export Commodities:

Dairy products, meat, wood, wood products, fish and machinery.

Import Commodities:

Machinery and equipment, vehicles and aircraft, petroleum, electronics, textiles and plastics.

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