Christian Hawkesby: Working together to be "on the money"

Speech (written with Ms Amber Wadsworth) by Mr Christian Hawkesby, Assistant Governor and General Manager of Economics, Financial Markets, and Banking of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, to The Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand, Annual Conference, Wellington, 19 October 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
19 October 2020


E nga mana, e nga reo. E nga karanga maha o te wa.

Tēnā koutou katoa.

It is real pleasure to speak today at the Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand.

I want to first acknowledge your global expertise in coins - and also bank notes and medals - including their history, value and knowledge of how they reflect our society. I would also like to thank the Society for all the assistance it has provided the Reserve Bank over the years, including with the development of our Brighter Money banknotes, the design and release of our circulating commemorative coins, as well as with our Museum and Education Centre. We are keen for this partnership to continue.

As a young child, I spent a lot of time being looked after by grandparents in Christchurch. To keep me occupied, my grandmother would set me up at the kitchen table with a jar of coins for the milk collection. I would spend hours inspecting them and figuring out how many different ways to count the stacks of different denominations (and to be honest, hoping I would get to keep a few).

While this didn't develop into the level of coin expertise of the Numismatic Society, it may have eventually sparked an interest in money, finance, and ultimately central banking.

A lot has changed in the way we make payments since those times. Leaving coins in a glass bottle beside the letter box was eventually replaced by using plastic milk tokens. After a while, many people switched to using debit or credit cards to buy milk at the supermarket. Now we can use remote payments to buy milk online and have it delivered. Buying milk is just one example. The way we make payments will continue to evolve, and this will vary significantly for different parts of our society too.