Currency in Cook Islands

The officially valid currency on the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Tokelau, Niue and the Pitcairn Islands is the Cook Island dollar or New Zealand dollar, colloquially often referred to as the kiwi dollar.

The ISO 4217 code for the Cook Island dollar is NZD. The Cook Island dollar is officially abbreviated as NZ $, $. 1 Cook Island dollar is divided into 100 cents each.

History of the Cook Island dollar

The Cook Island dollar was officially introduced as a currency on July 10, 1967 and has since replaced the New Zealand pound, which had been in use until then, which was divided into 20 shillings each.

The exchange took place at the rate of 1 pound to 2 Cook Island dollars. Until 1970, the new 10-cent coin still bore the value “One Shilling”. From 1970, however, this additional value was no longer used.

Up until 1990 the following coins were permitted as means of payment: the 1 cent coin and the 2 cent coin.

The following coins were officially accepted as means of payment until 2006: the 5-cent coin, which shows a bridge lizard; the silver-colored 10-cent coin with a carved Māori head; the 20 cent coin with a picture of a kiwi; the 20 cent coin depicting a Pukaki carving and the very large 50 cent coin depicting James Cook’s ship Endeavor.

The lack of the corresponding coins does not cause any difficulties in cashless payment transactions. In the case of cash payments, the dealers round the amounts up or down accordingly.

The 2006 coin reform came about because its material cost was too high due to its size. The old 50-cent coin with Captain Cook’s ship was one of the largest coins in circulation worldwide. The old 10 cent coin was too similar to the 1 dollar coin, so there was a risk of confusion.

The following coins are currently in circulation and valid: the 10 cent coin, the 20 cent coin, the 50 cent coin, the 1 dollar coin, and the 2 dollar coin.

Cook Island dollar paper money is in circulation in the following denominations: a 3-dollar bill, a 10-dollar bill and a 20-dollar bill. In addition, New Zealand dollars are valid as paper money, these are: the 5-dollar bill with Sir Edmund Hillary on the front and the yellow-eyed penguin on the back; the $ 10 bill with Kate Sheppard on the front and the frilled-billed duck on the back; the twenty dollar bill with Elizabeth II on the front and the Maori falcon on the back; the 50-dollar bill with Sir Apirana Ngata on the front and the ragged crow on the back, and the 100-dollar bill, the front of which shows Sir Ernest Rutherford and the back of a yellow-headed figure.

Until 1999, these banknotes were made of cotton. Since then, they have been printed on a plastic, polypropylene.

Exchange into the currency of the Cook Islands

You should only exchange your money for this exotic currency in the Cook Islands. Credit cards are accepted in many places.