Fiji's new $7 bank note
The government of Fiji has issued two million $7 banknotes to commemorate the Pacific island nation's gold medal victory in rugby sevens at last year's Rio de Janiero Olympics.
The banknotes, which are legal tender and are the only known $7 notes in circulation in any country, were released through bank branches last week.
Fiji's Reserve Bank will also issue one million 50-cent coins with the image of England-born Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan on one side and Fiji players hoisting the Olympic trophy on the other.
The note will join the existing line of bank notes which were overhauled in design in 2013.
I have previously written in my 'expat in Fiji posts' about the level of passion Fijians hold for their rugby (my hubby actually holds a similar level, so to me this is not surprising!). But, if you ever doubted me, or thought I was exaggerating… can this now be used as evidence?
Announcing the release of the notes and coins on Friday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said Fiji's gold medal success showed that despite its small size it could compete with the best in the world.
Toso Fiji! Go Fiij Go!
More recently, the Government of Fiji made a statement addressed to members of the public who believed it to be a waste of money.
Let me be clear at this point – I am totally in love with the new $7 note. I think it screams passion and commitment and love. And, just quietly, I’ve got my sticky little fingers on a couple of them for myself and some friends.
It was announced that the Government of Fiji as well as taxpayers did not pay anything at all for the $7 notes for the Rio Olympics gold medal-winning Fiji national 7s team.
This was clarified by Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum in a ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday.
He said the cost of this was borne by the Reserve Bank of Fiji alone.
"It is important to note that the unit cost of producing one $7 bank note is in fact lower than the cost of an existing $5 note, which is approximately 30 cents," Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.
"Let me highlight here that Government and taxpayers did not bear this cost at all.
For a country whose capital city shut down when Fiji was playing that winning game, do you expect anything less?