Posted by: scribe9 | November 19, 2009

More money matters

Plastic

As devoted readers will recall, we were told by our local banker that we can’t have usable VISA cards (so much for those we were sent by courier) until we’ve bought a certificate of deposit for the amount of our credit limit. We keep getting calls from the national office (not sure which department) thanking us for our business and urging us to use the cards.

If we ever have usable cards, we can choose to use a PIN rather than sign sales slips. The paper on which our Visa cards was sent advises: “If you experience any hiccups with your PIN, please phone us on the 0800 number shown below.” I think our Visa issues have moved beyond hiccups into dry heaves.

“Real” money

In the last fifty years, New Zealand has changed its money three times—the first, biggest change was decimilisation in 1967, switching from pounds, shillings and pence (with the extended family: the half crown of two shillings sixpence, the florin of two shillings, the sixpence, the threepence, and halfpenny) to dollars (worth half a pound) and cents. In 1990, one- and two-cent coins disappeared, and the one- and two-dollar bills were replaced with coins. In 2006, the fractional coins were made much smaller and lighter, no doubt saving thousands of pockets. The material the bills are made from has been changed a couple of times. No big deal—they just issue the new stuff, call in the old, and three months later the old money isn’t legal tender any longer. If you’re stuck with old coins—we have a few from Rick’s parents’ travels here a while back—you can redeem them at the Treasury down in Wellington, although I think we’ll just keep them as souvenirs.

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