When decimal currency was introduced in New Zealand on 10 July 1967, there was no new circulating denomination with the size and specifications of the old one crown piece, in which only commemorative coins had been issued (the new fifty cents were equivalent in value but not in size). Until the introduction of the smaller circulating dollar coin in 1990, New Zealand issued crown-sized commemoratives with a one dollar denomination such as this one. Later crown-sized commemoratives are denominated at five dollars.
In 1989, New Zealand released four coins to commemorate the XIV Commonwealth Games in Auckland. They featured a runner, a gymnast, a swimmer and a weight-lifter (this coin).
Crowned bust of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a pearl necklace, facing right (effigy known as the "Third Portrait"); incuse in tiny letters on neck truncation, the designer's initials RDM (for Raphael David Maklouf).
Around, the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1989.
Figure of a weight-lifter. Around, XIVth Commonwealth Games, Auckland; below, the denomination 1 Dollar.
The design was by Xiao Wang from the Elam School of Fine Arts.