The New Zealand dollar is the currency of New Zealand. It also circulates in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and the Pitcairn Islands. It is divided into 100 cents. It is normally written with the dollar sign $, or NZ$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. In the context of currency trading, it is often informally called the "Kiwi", since kiwi are commonly associated with New Zealand and the $1 coin depicts a kiwi. It is one of the 10 most-traded currencies in the world.
Before the New Zealand dollar, the currency of New Zealand was the pound, which had been distinct from the pound sterling since 1933. Switching to decimal currency to replace the cumbersome and complicated £sd system had been proposed in New Zealand since the 1930s, although only in the 1950s did any plans come to fruition. In 1957, a committee was set up by the Government to investigate decimal currency. The idea fell on fertile ground, and in 1963, the Government decided to decimalise New Zealand currency.
The Decimal Currency Act was passed in 1964, setting the date of transition to 10 July 1967. On that date, the New Zealand dollar was introduced to replace the pound at a rate of two dollars to one pound (ten shillings to one dollar, ten cents to one shilling). The NZ$ was initially pegged to the US dollar at US$1.39 = NZ$1. This rate changed on 21 November of the same year to US$1.12 = NZ$1 after the devaluation of the British pound, although New Zealand devalued more than the UK.
In 1971 the US devalued its dollar relative to gold, leading New Zealand on 23 December to peg its dollar at US$1.216 with a 4.5% fluctuation range, keeping the same gold value. From 9 July 1973 to 4 March 1985 the dollar's value was determined from a trade-weighted basket of currencies.
The NZD was floated on 4 March 1985 at the initial rate of US$0.4444. Since then the dollar's value has been determined by the financial markets, and has been in the range of about US$0.39 to 0.82.
Always remember that trading foreign exchange on margin carries a HIGH LEVEL OF RISK, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose! You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.