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.
The 1990 large one dollar coin commemorates 150 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. These coins were issued in the 150th Anniversary mint sets with a mintage of 10,000 and also separately, boxed or in labeled coin flips. They were struck by the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra and were designed by Horst Hahne. There was also an "off-metal" proof minting in silver.
This was the last large one dollar issued. Circulating small one dollar coins were introduced in 1990, replacing one dollar banknotes. In later years, the large "special" one-year-type coins issued in mint sets were denominated as five dollars.