money matters

Featuring Sir Edmund Hillary and a colour-changing penguin, NZ has the world's best banknote

The first conqueror of Mount Everest, the creator of Pippi Longstocking and Crimean landmarks appear on 2015's most attractive currency bills.

New Zealand's five-dollar note, which features Mount Everest's first conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary, has been adjudged as the world's best banknote for 2015 by the International Bank Note Society.

The Society, a nonprofit educational organisation which has more than 20,000 members in close to 100 countries, picked the banknote sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as a "clear winner" from among three dozen nominees.

The notes are assessed for “artistic merit and/or innovative security features”, including use of colour, contrast and balance.

The orange and brown $5 note displays a map of New Zealand in a polymer window as well as numerous upgraded security features.

In addition to Hillary, who passed away in 2008, the face features South Island’s Mount Cook and a colour-changing yellow-eyed penguin. The back design also features this rare penguin unique to New Zealand, as well as local flora.

Almost 150 new banknotes were released worldwide in 2015. The Society narrowed down the nominees to 20 from Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. India was not among these picks.

While Trinidad & Tobago had bagged the award in 2014, Kazakhstan was deemed the winner three times in a row before that.

For 2015, the runners-up were Sweden, Russia, Kazakhstan and Scotland.

The Swedish 20-krona banknote featuring children’s author Astrid Lindgren, who created Pippi Longstocking.
The Swedish 20-krona banknote featuring children’s author Astrid Lindgren, who created Pippi Longstocking.
Russia’s 100 Ruble note which contains illustrations of Crimean landmarks.
Russia’s 100 Ruble note which contains illustrations of Crimean landmarks.
Kazakhstan had won three times in a row from 2011-2013. Kazakhstan’s 20,000 Tenge note from 2015 features the Kazakh Eli monument in Astana.
Kazakhstan had won three times in a row from 2011-2013. Kazakhstan’s 20,000 Tenge note from 2015 features the Kazakh Eli monument in Astana.
Issued by Clydesdale Bank, the Scottish five-pound note has engineering entrepreneur William Arrol on the front, whose company built the Forth Bridge in 1890 and is still considered a marvel.
Issued by Clydesdale Bank, the Scottish five-pound note has engineering entrepreneur William Arrol on the front, whose company built the Forth Bridge in 1890 and is still considered a marvel.
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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.