The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is New Zealand's central bank. It was established in 1934, and although not a government department, has been wholly owned by the government of New Zealand since 1936. Like most central banks, the Reserve Bank is primarily a policy organisation, and has three main functions. Although it has statutory independence to carry out its functions under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, the Reserve Bank is accountable to Parliament, and provides an annual dividend to the Government.
The Reserve Bank is required to ensure that, throughout the economy, money works as well as possible as a mechanism for making transactions, storing value, and keeping account. The Bank also promotes a sound and efficient financial system. To fulfill these functions, the Bank carries out a wide range of tasks, from operating monetary policy to monitoring and supervising the health of the financial system, maintaining foreign reserves, operating in the financial markets if necessary, and issuing currency as required.