NZ MF tractor off note


Security measures bumped the Fergie from New Zealand’s new $5 note. Until the upgrade of New Zealand banknotes, the Massey Ferguson tractor passed through hands on the $5 note alongside Kiwi adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary and Mt Cook.

It was a symbol of Hillary’s legacy. Sources: Stuff NZ, Fairfax

The new NZ$5 note now does not include a Massey Ferguson tractor on the Sir Edmund Hillary side.

In 1958, Hillary arrived at the South Pole atop a Massey Ferguson. That trans-Antarctic expedition made Hillary and his New Zealand party the second team to reach the South Pole overland.

In the bank note’s upgrade, the tractor was dropped.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand spokeswoman Naomi Mitchell said it was simply a “space thing” to allow for upgraded security measures.

“There was a decision made quite early on in the project to keep the same people and fauna on the notes but there was always going to be the possibility that when the notes were redesigned to incorporate these more modern security features – and there’s a lot of them – some things were not going to be able to stay in the note,” she said.

“It’s unfortunate that we have had to remove a small amount of things … but the aim was to improve the security and that was front and foremost.”

Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and Hermitage Hotel general manager Leigh Stock said it was “slightly disappointing” the tractor no longer featured, but he appreciated the reasoning for its exclusion.

“Sir Ed was synonymous with Mt Cook, so the fact that Mt Cook is still there in the background is great for us. The fact the tractor isn’t there is slightly disappointing but I understand the Reserve Bank needed to get the security issues sorted,” he said.

“If they had taken Sir Edmund off, and left the Massey on, I think there would be more of a problem.”

The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, in the Aoraki Mount Cook alpine village, was home to a replica Massey Ferguson tractor.