This commemorative $5 banknote is a mint condition, genuine uncirculated banknote, provided by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has been signed by Edmund Hillary and authenticated by both PSA/DNA and JSA.
Sir Edmund Hillary features on the face of the $5 note. New Zealand’s most accomplished explorer, and perhaps the most highly regarded New Zealander of his generation, he gained world renown in 1953 as the first man to climb Mount Everest. He followed this in 1958 by becoming the first man to drive overland to the South Pole. Since then Sir Edmund has worked in the Nepal / Himalaya region and was involved in building schools and hospitals for the Sherpa people. He was New Zealand High Commissioner to India from 1985 to 1989 and retained his strong interest in mountaineering. The portrait of Sir Edmund was engraved from a photograph taken in 1953 around the time of his conquest of Everest. It is depicted against a background of Maori Tukutuku patterns. Also illustrated is his favourite mountain, Mount Cook, with the Southern Ridge, which he first climbed in 1948, shown prominently. A small illustration is included of one of the Massey-Fergusson tractors which, with a bit of Kiwi ingenuity, were driven more or less unmodified to the South Pole during the 1958 Trans-Antartic Expedition.
The back of the $5 note features the Hoiho (Yellow Eyed Penguin), one of the world’s rarest penguins. Growing to a height of 60cms it is easily distinguished from other penguins by its yellow iris and yellow band of feathers across the back of its head. The Hoiho can be found on sea-facing scrub and forested slopes along the south-eastern coastline of the South island of New Zealand, Stewart Island and a number of sub-antarctic islands. Their estimated total population is about 5000 with 7000 thought to be mainland dwellers and the rest on Stewart island, Campbell island and the Auckland islands. The main threat to the survival of the Hoiho on the New Zealand mainland is the clearance of its habitat for farmland. On the bank note the Hoiho is depected against a background scene of Campbell Island, the southernmost of New Zealand’s sub-antarctic islands located about 750 kilometres south of Bluff. The scene also features swirling bull kelp (Durvillaea antarctica), quite common around the New Zealand coast and sub-antarctic islands. Also the colourful yellow flowered sub-antarctic lily (Bulbinella rossii) and a giant member of the daisy family (Pleurophyllum speciosum), well adapted to survive in the severe Campbell Islands climate.