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Symbols, currency, and abbreviations

Symbols, currency, and abbreviations help us communicate faster with those who know, but they also increase the risk of confusing people who aren't familiar. The following rules and guidelines help us reduce this risk.


We use:

  • % – not 'percent' or 'per cent'
  • & – only if it’s part of a brand name
  • KB for kilobyte, MB for megabyte, and GB for gigabyte, for example 122 KB.


We put both the currency code and currency symbol before any amounts of money we write, unless the amount is for NZ dollars only.

We don't use spaces between the code, symbol and amount.

For example:

  • 'Tomato prices fell 22% to $6.90 a kg in September'.
  • 'If you’re a United States citizen, you pay USD$640'.
  • 'If you’re an Australian citizen it costs AUD$890'.
  • 'British citizens pay GBP£420'.
  • 'Japanese citizens pay JPY¥550'.


We expand all abbreviations when we use them for the first time on a page.

For example:

  • 'You need to contact the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)'.

We use abbreviations when they're part of the name of a service or organisation.

For example:

  • 'Stats NZ collects data about New Zealand’s environment, economy and society'.
  • 'B4 School Check is a free health check for 4-year-olds'.

To make our content easier to read, we avoid using:

  • e.g.
  • i.e.
  • etc.

These are often written in full, such as:

  • for example
  • such as
  • that is
  • and so on.

For example:

  • 'Food hygiene regulations apply to food made and sold for fundraising, for example sausage sizzles'.

We add an s without an apostrophe to make an abbreviation plural.

For example:

  • TVs.

NZ and New Zealand

We use both NZ and New Zealand in our content. We use NZ in headings where using New Zealand would make the title too long.

Because NZ is pronounced with a vowel sound (en zed) sometimes we will write 'an NZ'.

Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, email

Content last reviewed 21 October 2020.