Love or hate our "bright" new $5 and $10 banknotes launched today, they are a sign that we are still in love with cash.
The Reserve Bank's head of currency, Brian Hayr, says in the year to the end of June, cash in the hands of the public jumped 7.6 per cent - a rise that far outstripped economic growth.
Electronic spending is ever more friction less and the banks and credit card companies have been actively trying to reduce cash use.
"Contact-less" payments allow credit card users to avoid even having to put in a PIN to make purchases under $80. That makes it ever easier top fritter money.
Taking out spending money in cash is a strategy some used to keep their frittering in check.
A survey in 2010 by the Reserve Bank found that only a small percentage of notes were stored in people's homes, but even at about 9 per cent, it was still hundreds of millions of dollars of notes.
There can be many reasons for keeping cash at home, including fear of banks collapsing, or as part of an emergency survival kit.
Low interest rates on deposits reduce the opportunity cost of holding cash, which may have contributed to the recent growth in notes demand, Hayr says
The rise in the proportion of $50 and $100 in circulation indicates cash is being hoarded by households. In 2013 there was $1.6 billion of $100 notes in the hands of the public. In 2015, there was $1.8b.
There was a similarly large leap in $50 notes in the hands of the public.
3. Avoiding surcharging
The credit card companies want us to use our cards for everything, but judicious use of cash use can save money. Use a credit card in a taxi or in a car park ticket machine, and you end up paying a surcharge.
Back in 2010, a survey of cash use by the public could only identify the use for about 40 per cent of the banknotes in the hands of the public. That suggests a lot of cash is being used in the "black" economy.
Cash is anonymous, which makes it an ideal means of transacting for those who are doing something they do not want the authorities to be able to track. Take drugs, for example. Nobody really knows how much the drugs economy is worth.
In 2013, a survey suggested 11 per cent of adults had used cannabis. They are unlikely to have used eftpos to pay for it. Cannabis is just one illegal drug, and selling it is just one of the crimes in which both parties to the transaction may prefer to take place outside of the formal banking system.
5. Tax avoidance
The "grey" economy is the term for economic activity that happens outside of the tax system.
Paying for something in cash can result in a business deciding not to run the job through the books, enabling it to avoid paying company tax, and the purchaser to avoid GST.
6. Legal anonymity
There are many things you may want to buy you would not want to appear in your bank statements.
Cash can help keep your trips to the TAB, prostitutes, strip clubs, pub, etc, off of your bank statements. Paranoia may also drive some to prefer making purchases in cash. The taxman can't then track your movements so easily.
Cash use spikes at Christmas. Retail spending rises at this time of year. Grandparents sticking banknotes into Christmas cards for the grandchildren, and Christmas jars being raided are still features of New Zealand life.
8. Pocket money
When kids are young, coins are a great way to show them the value of money, and as young children can't get eftpos cards, pocket money still has to be cash.
Children take their first steps into the world of money through cash purchases.
ASB has launched a virtual elephant money box in response to parental demand to be able to transfer pocket money to their children online, but there are still plenty of jangly money boxes on kids' shelves.
9. Smaller purchases
Research shows that we grow less and less likely to use cash as purchase prices rise. But $20 notes, $10 notes, $2 and $1 coins are all in decline as electronic payments continue on their upwards trajectory.
The assault on cash through contact-less payments and the spread of vending machines into which you can dip your chip card seems to be continuing the erosion. Only about 30 per cent of retail spending was now in cash, Bascand says in his speech.
10. Foreigners' cash holdings
Our beautiful country gets three million visitors a year. They will do their spending in various ways - some by credit card, and some in cash.
At any point in time, visitors planning to come may have a small store of kiwi currency set aside for their trip.
Hayr says tourists use cash for a higher proportion of their purchases than New Zealanders.