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Fiji Time: 9:50 PM on Monday 21 April

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Queen off our notes

Timoci Vula
Friday, November 30, 2012

FIJI will soon see a new series of banknotes and coins in circulation come January 2 next year.

The new-look currency will prominently feature local flora and fauna designs, replacing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II across all denominations.

Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) governor Barry Whiteside also revealed that a new $2 coin would be introduced to replace the $2 note in circulation.

"Work on the new series of notes and coins commenced in February 2010 during the United Nation's declared Year of Biodiversity, so it was most fitting to recognise this important theme and what better way than to do so in our national currency," Mr Whiteside said in a statement yesterday.

He said a currency design committee of eminent Fijians was approved by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama to oversee the selection of the designs.

Mr Whiteside said a number of the new flora and fauna designs selected were unique to Fiji.

He said some belonged on the endangered species list and "all Fijians must be made aware of this fact and how critical it is to preserve our heritage".

Mr Whiteside said members of the British royal family had featured on the local currency since 1934 "and we are indeed grateful to have had the privilege of this association over the past 78 years".

He said while it was sad to see the transition taking place, it was time to move forward and promote the country's own unique national treasure and the biodiversity that existed locally.

President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will unveil the new series with new front designs on December 12.