Even countries like Mali have gold reserves.
On the 12 September 2019, the RBNZ also confirmed in an Official Information Act request that “the Reserve Bank does not hold any gold as reserves.”
We’ve had the odd query from other New Zealanders asking, “how much gold does the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) actually have?”.
Our guess is people are probably asking because since the financial crisis net gold purchases by global central banks have switched from negative (i.e. they were selling), to positive (i.e. they are buying).
So is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) also buying gold?
Well we’re sorry to report folks, the news isn’t so great.
|New Zealand’s International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity|
|(Information is disclosed in NZD 000’s)|
|I. Official reserve assets and other foreign currency assets (approximate market value)|
|A. Official reserve assets||22,094,703|
|(1) Foreign currency reserves (in convertible foreign currencies)||16,739,881|
|of which: issuer headquartered in reporting country but located abroad||–|
|(b) total currency and deposits with:||8,565,201|
|(i) other national central banks, BIS and IMF||8,562,809|
|(ii) banks headquartered in the reporting country||–|
|of which: located abroad||–|
|(iii) banks headquartered outside the reporting country||2,392|
|of which: located in the reporting country||–|
|(2) IMF reserve position||725,643|
|(4) gold (including gold deposits and, if appropriate, gold swapped)||–|
|volume in fine troy ounces||–|
|(5) other reserve assets||218,956|
|loans to non-bank non-residents||–|
|B. Other foreign currency assets||732,084|
|securities not included in official reserve assets||–|
|deposits not included in official reserve assets||1,071,723|
|loans not included in official reserve assets||–|
|financial derivatives not included in official reserve assets||(339,640)|
|gold not included in official reserve assets||–|
Last time we checked a dash didn’t mean that the number was too big to report! But was rather a simple alternative for the number zero. So according to the RBNZ website, New Zealand has $0 worth of gold deposits from a grand total of zero fine troy ounces of gold.
The RBNZ Confirms No Gold Reserves in Official Information Act Request
On the 12 September 2019, the RBNZ also confirmed in an Official Information Act request that “the Reserve Bank does not hold any gold as reserves.”
How Does New Zealand Compare to the Leading Gold Holding Nations?
The below chart shows the gold reserves of 20 largest gold holding countries worldwide as of March 2022 (in metric tons). The smallest – Thailand – has 244.16 tons of gold.
The Top 100 Gold Holders
Further confirmation of New Zealand’s total gold reserves comes from the World Gold Council. They periodically take information compiled by the IMF to create a ranking of gold deposits of countries.
The lazy mans research site – Wikipedia means we don’t have to look too hard for the latest figures though. The table below ranks each nation according to it’s officially reported gold holdings as of November 2009.
We can save you some time searching and state that unfortunately New Zealand does not feature – at all.
World official gold holding (November 2009) RANK COUNTRY/ORGANIZATION GOLD (TONNES) GOLD’S SHARE OF TOTAL FOREX RESERVES (%) 1
8,133.5 77.4% 2
3,408.3 69.2% 3 International Monetary Fund 3,005.3 – 4
2,451.8 66.6% 5
2,445.1 70.6% 6
1,054.0 1.9% 7
1,040.1 29.1% 8
765.2 2.3% 9
612.5 59.6% 10
568.4 4.3% 11
557.7 6% 12 European Central Bank 501.4 18.8% 13
423.6 3.9% 14
416.8 42.5% 15
382.5 90.2% 16
363.9 35.5% 17
310.3 18.7% 18
286.8 30.0% 19
280.0 50.5% 20
227.5 42.5% 21
173.6 3.6% 22
153.9 12.3% 23
143.8 4.5% 24
143.0 12.4% 25
135.9 14.2% 26
127.4 2.2% 27 Bank for International Settlements 125.0 – 28
124.7 11.0% 29
116.1 4.7% 30
112.5 92.8% 31
103.7 8.4% 32
102.9 5.0% 33
87.4 2.2% 34
79.8 7.3% 35
79.0 11.9% 36
75.6 6.4% 37
73.1 4.3% 38
72.0 11.6% 39
66.5 4.7% 40
65.4 20.3% 41
54.7 3.4% 42
49.1 17.6% 43
39.9 7.6% 44 West African Economic and Monetary Union 36.5 11.8% 45
36.4 1.2% 46
35.1 81.6% 47
34.7 3.3% 48
33.6 0.5% 49
28.3 10.3% 50
26.3 11.6% 51
26.2 2.0% 52
25.9 – 53
22.0 2.2% 54
21.4 0.9% 55
20.3 11.6% 56
15.3 3.8% 57
14.8 5.2% 58
14.3 0.1% 59
13.9 29.7% 60
13.2 0.9% 61 Netherlands Antilles 13.1 31.4% 62
12.4 12.9% 63
12.4 2.6% 64
12.2 2.3% 65
8.1 23.1% 66
7.7 3.3% 67
7.3 8.2% 68 Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa 7.1 – 69
6.9 3.9% 70
6.9 0.8% 71
6.8 7.6% 72
6.8 2.1% 73
5.8 2.3% 74
5.5 16.3% 75
5.2 10.9% 76
4.7 – 77
3.9 2.4% 78
3.5 1.6% 79
3.4 0.1% 80
3.4 0.2% 81
3.2 7.2% 82
3.1 17.1% 83
3.1 0.3% 84
3.0 4.6% 85
2.6 5.3% 86
2.3 10.8% 87
2.2 2.6% 88
2.1 0.0% 89
2.0 1.9% 90
2.0 – 91
Papua New Guinea
2.0 2.1% 92
Trinidad and Tobago
1.9 0.6% 93
1.6 0.5% 94
1.4 7.0% 95
0.9 – 96
0.7 0.7% 97
0.7 0.6% 98
0.6 0.7% 99
0.4 – 100
Republic of the Congo
0.3 – 101
0.3 – 102
Central African Republic
0.3 – 103
0.3 0.1% 104
0.2 0.1% 105
0.2 0.0% 106
0.2 0.8% 107
Note: Wikipedia doesn’t appear to have a top 100 list anymore. It’s now just a top 50. However Trading Economics now does. The holdings of each country has not changed too dramatically since 2009. You can see that list here. We can however confirm as of 2022, New Zealand still has zero gold reserves.
|United Arab Emirates||55.43||55.43||Mar/22||Tonnes|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2.99||2.99||Mar/22||Tonnes|
|Papua New Guinea||1.96||1.96||Mar/22||Tonnes|
|Trinidad And Tobago||1.94||1.94||Mar/22||Tonnes|
It’s a bit of a worry when Haiti, which the world bank reports as the poorest country in the Latin American and Caribbean region and among the poorest countries in the world, recently had more gold reserves than New Zealand does!
While even our small pacific neighbour Fiji has 0.03 tonnes!
Fiji may come in at number 104 on the list and only have 0.03 tonnes but that’s 0.03 tonnes more than us! (Or about $2.8 Million NZD in Gold reserves more than New Zealand).
Just like we believe the average person should have at least a small percentage of their liquid net worth held in gold, we too think the RBNZ would be wise to convert some of its foreign currency reserves into real money. Thereby ensuring a store of value in a time when currencies the world over are being depreciated at ever greater speed.
Why the RBNZ is Very Unlikely to Buy Gold
However, it’s very unlikely that the New Zealand central bank will buy any gold in the future. Even though so many other central banks have been doing just that since 2009. Why do we think that?
Because back in 2012 a reader forwarded us an email from the RBNZ that said:
Thank you for your question and apologies for the delay in responding.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has not held any gold reserves since 1991.
Our reserves management responsibilities are set out in the Reserve Bank Act of 1989 and our foreign reserve targets are specified by the Minister of Finance. The Reserve Bank is not, at this stage, planning to include gold in our foreign reserve portfolio. The Reserve Bank’s position is that gold does not meet our liquidity requirements.
Knowledge Adviser | Reserve Bank of New Zealand
2 The Terrace, Wellington 6011 | P O Box 2498, Wellington 6140
T. +64 4 472 2029 | F. +64 4 471 3722
Interesting that gold does not meet the RBNZ’s “liquidity requirements”. Even though gold can be sold at a moments notice and turned into cash. So the odds of a turn around from the Reserve Bank on buying gold looks slim indeed.
Editors note: This post was first published 5 December 2009. Last updated 5 July 2022 with new charts and numbers.
We have this while the Marsden Point refinery, New Zealand’s only refinery, is being closed
A fuel pipeline that supplies Auckland has been damaged and it has already disrupted travel for thousands of people. Here’s what we know so far.
A 168 kilometre-long pipeline supplying jet fuel, petrol and diesel from the Marsden Point refinery in Northland to tanks in Wiri, Auckland, has been out of action since Thursday. It’s believed to have been hit by a digger being used to extract swamp kauri near Ruakaka.
It’s also Auckland Airport’s only supply of jet fuel.
On Thursday, the pipeline’s customers – BP, Z Energy and Mobil – as well as Energy Minister Judith Collins were alerted to the situation. Prime Minister Bill English received a “high level” briefing on Sunday.
However, it may have been damaged months ago and only failed on Thursday, according to one report.
Despite the pipe being shut down within 15 minutes of being damaged, about 70,000 litres of fuel was spilled, RNZ reported.
It’s the first time the pipeline has suffered a fault, according to Mobil Oil New Zealand’s manager Andrew McNaught.
HOW DOES THE PIPE WORK?
The pipeline is owned and maintained by Refining New Zealand.
The pipe is 250 millimetres wide and has an approximate volume of nine million litres. It’s buried along it’s entire length.
It first went into operation in 1985. It supplies regular and premium petrol, diesel and jet – A1 fuel. Each product is pumped down the pipe, one after the other.
On its website, Refining NZ says: “there is some mixing at the interface which can be switched into special tanks at Wiri for blending later.”
It operates under a five-yearly certificate of fitness and annual surveillance audits. This interactive map shows how the pipeline works.
HOW LONG WILL REPAIRS TAKE?
A fix is expected to take between 10 and 14 days.
Work was underway on Sunday night to repair it, but the site is difficult to access and repairs need to be certified.
Once repaired, it’s likely it will be operated at 70 per cent capacity until it’s certain repairs are successful.
WHAT IMPACT WILL IT HAVE ON FLIGHTS AND TRAVEL?
At least 2000 passengers per day at Auckland Airport could be affected.
Twenty-seven domestic and international flights were cancelled on Sunday alone and more are cancelled in coming days.
Air New Zealand spokeswoman Kelly Kilgour said it would refund all fares for flights that were cancelled because of the cut.
Travellers without insurance could be out-of-pocket.
WILL PETROL AND DIESEL SUPPLY BE AFFECTED?
Mobil’s McNaught says fuel companies are trying to manage the impact of the temporary shut-down.
Alternative supplies for petrol and diesel are being arranged.
McNaught was confident supply to Auckland could be maintained by trucking in fuel.
“If any retail customers were inconvenienced, we are confident this would be minimal and short-lived,” he said.
WHAT WAS THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT?
Refining NZ chief executive Sjoerd Post took to the company’s Facebook page to address concerns about harm to the environment.
On Thursday, after the leak was identified, he wrote: “spill is on farmland and contained… the team is removing the spilt fuel as we speak and we intend to deal with the soil tomorrow”.
The Department of Conservation says the spill isn’t expected to pose a significant risk to the environment.
DID WE KNOW THIS COULD HAPPEN?
The government was warned about severe consequences of a shutdown of the pipe by reports in 2012.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
A short-term disruption was predicted to cost about $84.9 million or a long-term disruption, $466m, according to the 2012 reports.
Collins estimated the incident could cause “millions and millions of dollars” to the Auckland economy.
English wouldn’t speculate on the impact of jet fuel shortages.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW YET:
There’s still uncertainty about a lot of things.
Exactly how the damage was caused and why a digger was being operated so close to a key pipeline is the main question that needs to be asked.
A more precise repair timeframe isn’t clear. Refining NZ chief executive Sjoerd Post said the company would have a better idea of that by the end of Monday, RNZ reported.
The cost. The fuel shortage is likely to have a wide-ranging effect. From tourists, holidaymakers and people travelling on business, to airlines, Auckland Airport, Refining NZ and many more.
Who’s liable for the damage and who’ll end up paying for the fix isn’t clear yet either.
Long term, what we need to is if a solution will be provided to avoid a disaster like this happening again.
We also need to know why action wasn’t taken to mitigate the issue when reports first identified the potential consequences of a fuel supply cut
One thing that Marsden Point did do was to produce fine quality bitumen.
Now see what is happening
Police are warning drivers to hold off driving into Auckland from Dome Valley on State Highway 1 amid tar-seal problems.
Police have copped more than 40 complaints since 3pm about tar peeling off on a newly laid section of road, with concerns it is sticking to cars and tyres.
The problem is affecting the northern end of Dome Valley, 4km south of the Mangawhai turn-off.
A spokesperson said contractors arrived at the area about 4.30pm and were directing drivers away from the worst-affected sections.
A Waka Kotahi spokesperson said it was prioritising traffic management on Saturday before it could carry out permanent repairs, including laying asphalt, on Sunday and Monday.
Local resident Anne Richards said she had been waiting three years for roadworks to be completed, and now it felt like the end of the job was rushed.
“This cheaper seal was laid Thursday night, then when it was rained the stones washed off Friday,” she said.
“This morning I went through about 10am it was lifting but not badly. Then I went back through about 3pm, and it was literally peeling off and sticking to everyone’s tyres, they were unable to drive.
“It’s shocking. I feel there has been some corners cut and the use of this cheap tar-seal is a waste of time and money.”
It comes as heavy rain begins to cause surface flooding issues across Auckland.
A police spokeswoman said they had taken around 10 calls in just 15-20 minutes about surface flooding on roads across Auckland, and they had advised Auckland Council of the problem.
In Greenlane, significant flooding is causing serious delays near the roundabout that connects the suburb to the motorway.
Gilles Ave has also flooded.
An Auckland Council spokesperson said staff responding to the flooding were not seeing anything out of the ordinary during a heavy rain event, but did remind people not to drive through floodwater.
Auckland Transport (AT) said there was flooding on the tracks between Penrose and Newmarket, causing delays and possible cancellations with the Southern and Eastern Line services.
All Onehunga Line services had been suspended, AT said.
Earlier on Saturday, traffic was backing up past Drury towards Bombay, south of Auckland.
Around 3pm on Saturday, a two-car crash caused serious congestion on the Northwestern Motorway.
The crash temporarily closed the right eastbound lane on SH16, Waka Kotahi said, but the lanes were now clear, and congestion has since eased.
St John Ambulance attended the scene and treated five patients for minor injuries.
Police confirmed there were two cars involved in the crash, which happened around 3pm.
The loss of the country’s only oil refinery is already hurting the economy with the threat of grounded planes this summer – and that’s just the start, argues Simon Terry. It was a crucial tool for managing fuel supply risks – that could prove costly in an extended fuel shortage
THE CLOSURE OF THIS IMPORTANT PIECE OF NZ INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDS HUGE SIGNIFICANCE FOR EVERY KIWI -WHETHER WE EACH REALISE IT YET, OR NOT.
It is clear that it is a seminal part of this government steering us off-course, towards a future in which our once proud and independent People will have a severely-reduced ability as a functioning, self-reliant and sovereign nation.
Liz Gunn of FreeNZ talks to Dig In At Marsden protest leaders Brad Flutey and Craig Kelly.
kelly has been working in the oil and gas industry for 20 years. He’s been a contractor at Marsden Point since 1994/95.
Gunn asked Flutey why should anyone care about Marsden Point Refinery?
‘This strategic asset, this piece of infrastructure didn’t just create refined fuel. It created very good quality bitchumen, sulphur for fertiliser, CO2 for our food industry, and it created high-spec jet fuel, diesel and petrol. And that wasn’t the limit it could’ve done. It could’ve turned waste into fuel. It could’ve turned CO2 in the atmosphere into fuel. It could’ve been turned into a regenerative energy hub. The sky’s the limit for oil and gas in this country. Except what’s happned is some ideologues from university have found a shortcut into management and over 10 years have used subversion to turn it into what they’re now proposing, a solar farm.
‘People have got to remember, you’ve paid millions to upgrade this refinery. And for all intents and purposes, you should own this infrastructure. And now it’s being pulled apart, the cables cut off… and there’s an investor presentation that states that this should become a solar farm.’
‘Is it too Late?’ asked Gunn.
‘The reality is we don’t actually have a choice. The issues coming with relying on international monopolies is already apparent.’
‘We’re going to run out of fuel. We’re going to get off-grade products [eg poor quality bitcumen],’ said Kelly.