Thursday, 25 July 2013

2005 - 150 Years of New Zealand Stamps

        In 2005 New Zealand celebrated 150 years since it first began issuing stamps for postage. That first stamp issue was the famous Full Faced Queens which I have featured in other posts in this blog. Since then there have been many fine stamps issued and it would have been very hard to decide which should be included in a special issue to celebrate 150 years.
       In the end, fifteen stamps were chosen and were then featured in the designs of a series of modern stamps issued in three sets of five on; 2nd March 2005, 6th April 2005 and 1st June 2005. It is an impressive series of fine looking stamps.

     Before we get to this series I want to look at two earlier issues to mark the first issue of New Zealand Stamps in 1955 and 1980.

1955 - 100 Years of New Zealand Stamps.

Maori Mail Runner - 2d.                                Queen Elizabeth II - 3d

Aeroplane - 4d

           The issue to mark 100 years of postage stamps in New Zealand comprised three values. In the first (2d) there is a Maori Mail Runner, one of the first ways mail was carried in early New Zealand. The second stamp (3d) is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in a design similar to the original full-faced queen design of 1855. The final stamp (4d) shows a 'modern' Douglas DC3 aeroplane in recognition of modern methods of mail transportation.

1980 - 125 Years of New Zealand Stamps.

          Three stamps commemorating the 125th anniversary of the first New Zealand stamp issue featured reproductions of the first New Zealand stamps depicting Queen Victoria. At the same time, 2 miniature sheets were issued as well. The first was for general sale as part of this set while the second, seen below, was for the Zeapex International Stamp Exhibition.

 This miniature sheet was produced especially for Zeapex, the large international stamp exhibition held in Auckland in 1980. I attended this exhibition which was held in a convention centre in downtown Auckland. A highlight for me was to see some of the royal stamp collection flown out to New Zealand to be shown at this exhibition.

2005 - 150 Years of New Zealand Stamps.
      In 2005 NZ Post issued a series of stamps celebrating 150 years of New Zealand Stamps. They were issued in sets of five in March, April and June of that year. In the series below I have included all fifteen of these stamps but to add extra interest I have gone back and found the original stamps to be included here as well.

1855 - 1905.  (Issued 2nd March 2005.)
1855 1d. Full-Faced Queen - 45c.
This was the very first issue of postage stamps by New Zealand. It featured a full-faced portrait of Queen Victoria as opposed to the later issue of side-faced portraits of the Queen. When you compare this stamp with the one directly below you can see why the Full-Faced Queens were considered attractive stamps.  

1873 ½d. Newspaper Stamp - 90c.
This is a good choice for the second stamp of this series since it represents the 1873 Newspaper Stamp Issue as well as the 1874 and 1882 Side-Faced issues of Queen Victoria. It was the first New Zealand stamp to use a side-face portrait of the Queen. The stamp was specially produced to cover the cost of sending newspapers via mail.

1891 6d. NZ Government Life Insurance Department - $1.35.
 In 1891 the Government Life Office began printing their own postage stamps after a disagreement with the Post Office over postal rates. This continued for many years with the stamps always depicting lighthouses either in abstract or specific lighthouses in their designs. The last set was issued in 1981 and was used until finally the Office was privatised to become Tower Corporation in 1987.

1898 Pictorials, 5/- Mt Cook - $1.50.
The 1898 Pictorials holds a special interest for stamp collectors as it was one of the world's earliest pictorial definitive issues. The stamp shown here is the highest value in the set showing Mount Cook New Zealand's highest mountain, over 3,700 metres in height, situated in the South Island's Southern Alps.

1901 1d. Universal - $2.00.
Prior to 1901, the cost of sending a letter to the United Kingdom was fixed at 2½d per ½oz and the rate of inland letters within New Zealand set at 2d. On 1 January 1901 Universal Penny Postage was introduced with the price for inland and overseas letters both being reduced to 1d. The One Penny Universal was designed and issued for this purpose.

1905 - 1955.  (Issued 6th April 2005.)
1906 Christchurch Exhibition (1d, Claret) - 45c.
This issue of stamps was to mark the first international industrial exhibition in New Zealand which was held in Christchurch in 1906. The stamp showing Maori canoe carving was originally printed in claret as shown above but on seeing the appearance it was decided to reprint this stamp in vermillion. Some of the claret stamps did get into collectors hands even though they were never intended to be released. 

1931 Health 1d. Red (Smiling Boy) - 90c.
In 1929 the Post Office began issuing stamps to promote establishing and running Health Camps for children's health. There is a small charge attached to each stamp for this purpose. The 'smiling boys,' yes there were two of them, appeared in the third year of this series when a red stamp was produced then due to postal a second, higher value blue stamp was added. They became known as the as the 'red boy' and 'blue boy' by stamp collectors.

1935 Airmail 3d. Aircraft - $1.35.
By 1935 mail was being carried by air so this design was prepared for the second issue of the airmail stamp. The picture is a photo of the first official airmail from Australia to New Zealand arriving at New Plymouth on the 'Faith in Australia' in 1934.

1946 Peace 9d. The Southern Alps from Chapel Window - $1.50.
1920 Victory & 1946 Peace.
The 1946 Peace Issue is one of my favourite sets and so I am pleased to see it represented here. The stamp chosen is, in my opinion, one of the best of that set too. The peaceful scene of a church looking out over the beautiful mountains of the Southern Alps makes this a special stamp for me.

          1954 Queen Elizabeth II 10/- Blue - $2.00.
The highest value in the definitive issue depicting the new Queen. This was a colourful set featuring three different designs. The four higher values showed the Queen on horseback as can be seen here.

1955 - 2005.  (Issued 1st June 2005.)
1965 ANZAC 5d. Green - 45c
1936 - 1965 Early ANZAC Issues.
This issued marked the 50th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing during World War I in which New Zealand troops took part. A lot of brave men were lost in this landing until finally, the attempt had to be abandoned. The red poppy became the symbol of ANZAC with the flower being sold each year to be worn on ANZAC Day. 

 1988 $1.00 Round Kiwi - 90c
The Round Kiwis
This was New Zealand's first round stamp and as the named suggests features the kiwi, our national bird. There was a number of these printed between 1988 - 2011, in different colours and slightly different designs.

1990 The Achievers 60c Katherine Sheppard - $1.35.
1990 Heritage Set 5 - The Achievers.
Katherine Sheppard emigrated to New Zealand from England in 1869. She was a social worker and feminist who founded the New Zealand Christian Women's Temperance Union which campaigned for equal rights for women. The result of this was that New Zealand became the first country in the world to give equal voting rights to women.

1994 Maori Myths 45c Maui - $1.50.
1994 Maori Myths & Legends.
This stamp represents the story where Maui is known as the mythical demigod who fished up the North Island of New Zealand from the floor of the ocean. This issue of six stamps stands out for their colour and interesting subjects. 

2003 $1.50 - 100 Years of Test Rugby - $2.00.
Rugby on New Zealand Stamps.
Out of a set of six stamps showing some of the great rugby test matches the 1986 New Zealand vs France game was chosen for this 150 Years issue. Rugby has a long history in New Zealand and is closely followed by many people. The national team, The All Blacks, are respected as being a tough completive team in many parts of the world. They are known for performing the haka, a Maori war dance, before each test match. 

Some of the images in this post were used with permission from the illustrated catalogue of StampsNZ
You can visit their website and On-line Catalogue at, 

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