New Ireland celebrates currency anniversary

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The National, Monday 22nd April 2013


NEW Ireland celebrated the 38th anniversary of the local currency – the kina and toea – last Friday.

The currency was introduced on April 19, 1975.

Governor Sir Julius Chan said: “I have a dear and paternal interest not only in the founding of the Bank of Papua New Guinea but also in the introduction of our national currency.”

Sir Julius, a former Finance Minister, said the formation of the Bank of Papua New Guinea on Nov 1, 1973 under the Central Banking Act defined its doctrine to serve the interests of people of PNG.

“And three years later, the introduction of the kina was truly a defining event in our newly independent nation,” he said.

BPNG Governor Loi Bakani said in a paid advertisement last Friday that to commemorate the event, a currency survey would  be conducted to gauge people’s view on the size, shape, weight and metal content of the coins.

He said the results would form the basis for the future reform of the family of coins and lower denominated banknotes.

“Introducing our own currency was one of the many steps taken towards creating a national identity in the lead up to Independence, just like the national flag, national anthem and the national crest,” Bakani said.

“Our currency depicts our culture and heritage. 

“It has come a long way with additional denominations, changes in size and metal content for coins and from paper to polymer (plastic) for banknotes.”

He said the changes were necessitated by the needs of the growing economy, new technological advancement in currency production and security requirements against counterfeit.