Twenty Cents (large, Pukaki), Coin Type from New Zealand - detailed information

Twenty Cents (large, Pukaki), Coin Type from New Zealand (issued 1990 - 2006)
Coin TypeTwenty Cents (large, Pukaki)

In 1990, the new $1 and $2 coins were released to replace the $1 and $2 notes. As the $1 depicted a kiwi also, the 20 cent's reverse had to be redesigned. The new reverse side featured the well-known Māori carving depicting Pukaki, a chief of the Ngāti Whakaue iwi (tribe) of Te Arawa. In 1999, the portrait of the Queen was changed to a version by Ian Rank-Broadley which had been introduced to the coins of the pound sterling in the previous year. No 20 cent coins were minted between 1991 and 2001.

The existing 20 cent coins remained in circulation and greatly outnumbered the new design until 2006.

About the Pukaki design, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand says:

New Zealand's 20 cent coins issued since 1990 feature a remarkable Maori carving. This is no generic image. Rather it is a reproduction of a specific carving of an 18th century Maori warrior leader called Pukaki, who was a Rangatira (Chief) of the Ngati Whakaue iwi of Te Arawa in the Rotorua district. The carving was made in 1836 and today it can be viewed in the entrance of the Rotorua Museum.

Pukaki's birth was the result of a peace-making marriage between Ngati Whakaue and Ngati Pikiao of Rotoiti around 1700. Pukaki grew up during a time of armed conflict both within Te Arawa and against wider Bay of Plenty-Waikato tribes. He lived on Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua and then at Parawai, which is now surrounded by the Ngongotaha township.

In Pukaki's later years a major tribal war under his leadership resulted in Ngati Whakaue defeating their Tuhourangi relations, forcing them back to Tarawera and taking over the lands of Pukeroa-Oruawhata, where sits today's city of Rotorua. Most of Ngati Whakaue then left Parawai to take up permanent occupation in the village of Ohinemutu, which remains to this day as a distinctive part of Rotorua. Around this time Pukaki passed away and he was buried in the Mamaku foothills, where the descendants of his elder son, Ngahina, still watch over him today.

In 1836 - three generations after Pukaki's passing - Ngati Whakaue strengthened Ohinemutu in preparation for an impending attack. At that time, the Pukaki carving, as depicted on the 20 cent coin, was created as part of a gateway to guard the southern entrance.

Pukaki was expertly crafted by Te Taupua of Ngati Whakaue from one large piece of totara timber, originating from the Ngongotaha Stream. The gateway used to stand over 5 metres tall. The carving commemorates Ngati Whakaue's conquest of Pukeroa-Oruawhata. Pukaki is depicted holding his two warrior sons Wharengaro and Rangitakuku, while between his legs can still be seen the remnants of his wife Ngapuia.

In the 1850s, Pukaki was brought down and his lower portion removed, thus transforming him from a gateway to a statue (tiki). He then stood upon the principal marae within Ohinemutu beside the Tama te Kapua meeting house.

In 1877 Ngati Whakaue gifted Pukaki to the Crown as a symbol of trust regarding the Crown's promise to develop the Rotorua township for the benefit of Ngati Whakaue. Much happened in the interim, and years later Pukaki ended up in the Auckland Museum. In 1997 the Auckland Museum, with the assistance of its local tribe, Ngati Whatua o Orakei, returned Pukaki home to Ohinemutu. On that day, exactly120 years after Pukaki had left, the Crown was at long last able to take proper receipt of Pukaki with a promise to protect him and the future interests of Ngati Whakaue in Rotorua.

Today, on behalf of the Crown, the Pukaki Trust provides for the care, conservation and custody of Pukaki. More information about Pukaki can be obtained from a book by one of his descendants, Dr Paul Tapsell, entitled Pukaki: a comet returns.

Pukaki came to the attention of the Reserve Bank as a result of the 1984-87 Te Maori exhibition and the use of Pukaki's image on a particularly striking Maori Language Commission publicity poster. At the time the Reserve Bank was looking for a new image to put on the 20 cent coin, given that the kiwi was being moved to the new $1 coin. The first Pukaki 20 cent coins were issued in 1990. More recently, a gold $10 collectors' coin featuring Pukaki has been minted.

Composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel.

Obverse

Portrait of the ruling monarch (only Queen Elizabeth II during the existence of the coin type), legend, date.

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling monarch, date
Reverse

A reproduction of a remarkable Māori carving representing the 18th century Māori warrior leader called Pukaki, who was a Rangatira (Chief) of the Ngati Whakaue iwi of Te Arawa in the Rotorua district. The original carving was made in 1836 and today it can be viewed in the entrance of the Rotorua Museum.

The figure is flanked by Maori Māori motifs. Below, the denomination 20 [cents].

Reverse Inscription 20
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Twenty Cents (large, Pukaki) - (17) Coins
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Twenty Cents 1990 5,028,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1990
Twenty Cents 1991 (mint sets only) 35,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1991
Twenty Cents 1992 (mint sets only) 24,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1992
Twenty Cents 1993 (mint sets only) 25,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1993
Twenty Cents 1994 (mint sets only) 11,600 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1994
Twenty Cents 1995 (mint sets only) 12,060 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1995
Twenty Cents 1996 (mint sets only) 7,719 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1996
Twenty Cents 1997 (mint sets only) 6,282 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1997
Twenty Cents 1998 (mint sets only) 6,000 Queen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1998
Twenty Cents 1999 (mint sets only) 4,999 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 1999
Twenty Cents 2000 (mint sets only) 4,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 2000
Twenty Cents 2001 (mint sets only) 4,274 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 2001
Twenty Cents 2002 7,004,500 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 2002
Twenty Cents 2003 (mint sets only) 4,496 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 2003
Twenty Cents 2004 8,504,550 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 2004
Twenty Cents 2005 4,005,260 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 2005
Twenty Cents 2006 (large, mint sets only) 5,100 Queen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 2006
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Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Twenty Cents (large, Pukaki): Details
CountryNew Zealand
CurrencyNew Zealand Dollar
Sub-type ofTwenty Cents
From1990
To2006
Face Value20 (x Cent)
CurrentNo (demonetised 2006)
MaterialCuproNickel
DesignerRobert Maurice Conly
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size28.5800 mm
Thickness2.2200 mm
Mass11.3100 g