The New Zealand one dollar coin replaced the earlier banknote in February 1991. The depiction of a kiwi on the reverse helps give the New Zealand dollar the colloquial name "Kiwi (dollar)", although the term was in use before the $1 coin was introduced.
No coins of the one dollar denomination were issued for circulation in 2009. Some were struck for the mint sets and the proof sets of the year only.
Crowned mature head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (effigy known as the "Fourth Portrait"). The Queen wears the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Mary (Her Majesty's grandmother) in 1947 - which she also has on the Machin and the Gottwald portraits.
In tiny letters below the head, the artist's initials IRB (for Ian Rank-Broadley).
Around the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: NEW ZEALAND ELIZABETH II 2009.
The reverse of the coin depicts two symbols of New Zealand: a kiwi facing left in the centre, surrounded by four fronds of the silver fern (Cyathea dealbata). Both the kiwi and the silver ferns sit above the legend reading the denomination ONE DOLLAR.
Kiwi are a significant national icon, equally cherished by all cultures in New Zealand. Kiwi are a symbol for the uniqueness of New Zealand wildlife. They are most commonly forest dwellers, making daytime dens and nests in burrows, hollow logs or under dense vegetation. Kiwi are the only bird to have nostrils at the end of their very long bill. Their nostrils are used to probe in the ground, sniffing out invertebrates to eat, along with some fallen fruit.