Wellington, April 27 (IANS) New Zealand's five dollar note has been named the banknote of 2015 -- a "clear winner" among nearly 40 eligible designs from a record 20 countries, it was reported on Wednesday.

Scottish Clydesdale Bank's five pound note, Sweden's 20 kronor note, Russia's 100 rouble note and Kazakhstan's 20,000 tenge note emerged as runners-up, the Guardian reported.

New Zealand's $5, printed by a Canadian company, shows mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary facing the South Island's Aoraki/Mount Cook and, on the other side, a rare yellow-eyed penguin and local flora.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand had released the new $5 and $10 notes in October last year as part of its Brighter Money range.

"We are proud of all of New Zealand's new banknotes, but to have our $5 note recognised internationally is very special," Geoff Bascand, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, was quoted as saying.

"The note incorporates some of the world's most advanced security features, yet still beautifully showcases New Zealand's history, culture and heritage," he added.

The International Bank Note Society, which awards the honour every year, praised the "stunning orange and brown" design and its "gorgeous polymer window".