Per saltire arched Gules and Or, two inescutcheons
voided of the first in fess, within each a martlet Sable.
Crest: A baron's coronet. On a helm wreathed of the Colors,
a kiwi Proper. Mantling: Or and Gules.
Supporters: Dexter, Hermes Trismegistus (patron saint
of knowledge and alchemists). Sinister, a Maori warrior.
Motto: Primordia Quaerere Rerum
("To seek the first principles of things." Lucretius.)
Below the motto, the cross of the Order of Merit (hanging on a ribbon from the shield).
On July 10, 1967, New Zealand decimalized its money away from the British system (which Great Britain would abandon in 1971). The New Zealand dollar (nz dollar) was then introduced to replace the New Zealand Pound, at an exchange rate of two dollars per pound. In 1992, a new series of New Zealand banknotes was introduced where the portraits of Queen Elizabeth II were replaced (except on the 20-dollar note) by portraits of prominent New Zealand personalities. Ernest Rutherford was chosen for the highest denomination (100 dollars). Since 1999, the New Zealand paper currency has been replaced by polymer banknotes featuring similar designs and colors. The above picture shows the new version of the Rutherford 100-dollar note.
The British physicist Ernest Rutherford was born in New Zealand, 20 km to the Soutwest of the city of Nelson. Raised to the peerage in 1931, he became Ernest Lord Rutherford, first Baron Rutherford of Nelson (Ern, for short). The "arched" curves dividing the field of his shield are meant to be exponential curves (a reference to the decay of radioactive nuclei which is also featured on the above banknote honoring Rutherford) whereas the "martlets Sable" and the "inescutcheons voided Gules" are clearly from the arms of the chief of the Scottish Rutherford clan :
Rutherford: Argent, an orle gules, and in chief three martlets sable [beaked of the second].
D'argent, à l'orle de gueules, accompagnée. de trois martinets de sable, rangés en chef. (Rietstap)
A famous quote attributed to Ernest Rurherford: "All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
Well, he was a physicist but he got the Nobel prize in chemistry...
Nuclear Physics | Maestro of Atomic Physics
rutherford.org.nz by Dr. John A. Campbell