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.
Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres.
You can calculate the value of your currency in NZ Dollars using the newzealand.com currency converter. The rate you are offered in your home country is likely to differ slightly.
New Zealand banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Some are also during weekends. .
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 bank before leaving home.
- Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2.
- Notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
How Much Will it Cost?
Here is a general guide of what you can expect to pay in New Zealand for a few common items.
A hotel breakfast: NZ$15-$40
Dinner: NZ$25-$70 per main meal
Lunch snack/sandwich: NZ$5-$10
Cafe lunch: NZ$10-$25
A postcard stamp to anywhere abroad: NZ$1.90
Big Mac Hamburger: NZ$5.10
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.
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.
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.
It is at the retailer’s discretion how they handle prices ending in 5 cents.
Credit cards with "Smart Card" technology
Smart cards are payment cards that carry an embedded microchip allowing them to store encrypted, confidential information, and carry multiple applications from different industries alongside debit, credit, or prepaid payment applications. Please note these cards, which often have no magnetic strip, are generally accepted anywhere in New Zealand that has credit card facilities.
Travellers cheques in any of the major currencies (British pound, Euro, US dollar, Australian dollar) can be exchanged into New Zealand dollars on arrival and are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores.