Wednesday, 31 December 2014

1999/2000 Millennium Series VI - The Last Sunset / A New Dawn.

Millennium Series V.     Millennium Series Overview.

       The first of these two issues were not considered to be part of the Millennium Series. I added it, as it marked the event the Millennium Series was leading up to. It is a rather unusual issue called 'The Last Sunset,' which was created by taking on older issue from 1997 and adding a design overprinted on the selvage. The second issue seen here is the Millennium VI Issue, consisting of a single stamp, plus a FDC and a Miniature Sheet to mark the first sunrise, anywhere in the world, of the new century.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

1999 Millennium V - Leading the Way.

        Millennium Series IV.                       Millennium Series VI.

          For a relatively small country, New Zealand has an impressive list of achievements to its name – a reflection of our history as a country of pioneers with a ‘can do’ attitude that insists there are no such things as problems; merely solutions.
        Leading the Way, the fifth in a series of stamps leading up to the new millennium, captured some of New Zealand’s defining moments, and the people who made them possible.

         When I began working on this post I quickly realised there was a parallel with a post I did a few months ago 1990 Heritage Set 5 - The Achievers. In fact, two of the people we looked at in that earlier issue also are featured in this issue too. What is different though is that while back then the lives of the people were considered, here, there is more a sense of the importance of what they did for New Zealand.
        I think the key to understanding this difference is in the title 'Leading the Way." At first I thought of these achievers leading the way but then I realised that it was through their efforts that put New Zealand ahead of the rest of the world in a particular way or particular field of endeavour.  

Friday, 26 December 2014

1997 / 2009 The Year of the Ox.

The Year of the Ox

          People born in the Year of the Ox are natural leaders – dependable, calm, modest and hardworking. Just like the animal they represent, they are tireless in their work and capable of enduring any hardship without complaint. They’re also known for their intelligence, although they can be strong-minded and stubborn, and they hate to fail or be opposed. Famous Oxen include Napoleon Bonaparte, Vincent Van Gogh and Walt Disney.

          In 1997, New Zealand first issued a miniature sheet for the 11th Asian International Philatelic Exhibition. Three stamps from the Cattle of New Zealand issue was included in this sheet as it was also intended to celebrate the Chinese New Year, in this case the Year of the Ox.

          Twelve years later New Zealand again celebrated the Year of the Ox, this time with a set of three stamps and what had by then become the annual miniature sheet. This is the purpose of this post to look at both these issues in greater detail than they were presented in our Chinese New Year collection.
         I hope to return to this post in another twelve years and add the third stamp issue celebrating the Year of the Ox. Meanwhile you can view our Chinese New Year Collection.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

1999 Millennium IV - Nostalgia

Millennium Series III.                       Millennium Series V.

       The fourth Millennium Issue is called 'Nostalgia.' As the 20th century drew to a close, NZ Post thought it seemed appropriate to celebrate with fondness the wide range of items that many New Zealanders still vividly recalled. We remembered the tin toys played with in childhood, the solid china cups that were a railway institution and the Woman’s Weekly. We treasured the memories of the wireless, the cake tins commemorating Royal Visits, the valued collectibles like stamps and pre-decimal currency. All were part of a daily life in New Zealand.

        When my mother pasted away, one of the tasks we had to do was to clean out her house. There was so much stuff there, it was amazing she could get so much into that little house. Not just the items seen on shelves but what was hidden away too. Boxes of it, in cupboards, under beds etc. I remember thinking; 'What are we going to do with all this stuff?' What had been treasures to her seemed like junk to us.
        Many of the items were like those seen in these stamps. They did bring back memories of our childhood, normal everyday things when we were growing up. Stories were brought out, we laughed about things we had done. The task took much longer then it needed.
        Now I am looking at the desk in front of me as I write this. There is my 1970s lava lamp. My lumps of Kauri gum, the toy cows and sheep. In the book shelf behind me is my library, books I have collected over the years. Among them is my first book on space 'Exploring the Planets' from 1958. There are my childhood train books, among them 'The Little Blue Engine,' short train stories, sort of  like Thomas the Tank Engine. Out in the lounge is my collection of vintage car models. The sailing ship sitting above them, also in that cabinet, my first model train.
        Then the thought suddenly comes to me; 'I'm as bad as my mother was.' My treasures are all around me too. Full of memories for me but mostly likely junk to those who will clean up after me.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

150 Posts - Celebrate New Zealand.

          In some ways this blog is a celebration of New Zealand through the stamps which it issues. We have looked at many aspects of this country, from its beautiful scenery to its relatively short history; form the culture of the Maori people to the proud achievements of a modern country. Of course there is much more to come. Over the next fifty posts we will continue to explore more of New Zealand's culture, heritage and history through the many issues of stamps we have yet to feature.  

          For now I want to sit back and reflect what has been achieved here. This blog started small with only one person posting. I never intended to select my post subjects in an organised way, rather just doing whatever appeals to me at the time. In some ways this has created a disorganised collection of posts, in other ways it has led to a wide variety of subjects.

         Recently a new index system listing and connecting every post to a historical list of issues has been developed by one of our writers, Asami. Another writer, Mary, has almost completed the classic section of New Zealand stamps. Her intention is to continue working forward through the 1930s. Our writer, Anne, is new to postage stamp collecting, her passion is writing. With our help and advice she has turned our some interesting posts. In another recent development we have considered the deeper aspects of stamp collecting by starting to include technical details on each stamp issue we write about now. 

          So now we come to two questions:- First; how do we celebrate 150 posts? Second; Where do we go from here?

          The second question is easy to answer. We continue on as we have been doing, posting, developing, changing as we feel the need.

         As for the first question, a recent meeting between us we looked at ideas and it finally came down to two. One was to do a post featuring stamps from many of our more popular posts, in effect letting you, our readers decided which stamps to use in a review of 150 posts. The other idea was that we should feature an issue that celebrates New Zealand in some way, which is where I began above. To celebrate New Zealand is the underlying purpose of this blog. This is what we decided, the sheet shown below was selected and it was decided I should do this post.

          First I have shown the whole sheet, then I have broken it up into single stamps so we can view each one in greater detail. When I look at this sheet I wonder just how many of them were actually broken up. In my case I just cut them out on the computer. I hope you enjoy this post as something a bit different and I hope you will still be reading this blog 50 posts from now when we celebrate 200 posts.      Allan

Friday, 19 December 2014

1998 Millennium Series III - Urban Transformations.

Millennium Series II.                       Millennium Series IV.

          Millennium III, the third in a series of five issues leading up to the Year 2000, took New Zealand's changing cities as its theme. They all began with the first organised European settlement in 1840 and have been in a state of constant change ever since. All had a blueprint for their evolution, a plan for their establishment and growth, though in virtually every case the reality and the planning never quite matched.
          By the beginning of this century, the main centres at least – Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington - included substantial commercial and financial buildings, factories and, from around 1900, department stores. Transport systems such as buses and trams had also appeared.
         The late-Victorian classical/Gothic look of around 1900 would survive largely intact until the 1960s, when economic growth and modernist architecture prompted the erection of much larger office buildings. Meanwhile, increased interest in, and awareness, of public health and town planning issues saw many older houses in city centres demolished and replaced with new ferro-concrete and steel buildings.
         In the mid-1980s, another period of economic growth, prompted by financial deregulation, resulted in huge mirror glassed 'corporate' towers rising up to dominate parts of the skyline. That trend was checked by the stock market crash of 1987, only to be replaced over the next decade by another - the emergence of inner city apartments.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Express Delivery & Air Mail 1903 - 1939.

        Originally our plan was for Anne to tidy up these few issue so Allan and I could work on other projects. Then Anne was given the Chinese New Year posts to do so, since I was between projects, I decided to do this small collection of special issues myself.

       In 1903 and 1939 New Zealand issued a special stamp for a express delivery service. Between 1931 and 1935 a series of stamps were issues for air mail services. These issues standout from other New Zealand stamps in that they were only used for a single purpose.

        Normally these two groups would be considered as different sets, in the Campbell Patterson Catalogue they are even assigned separate sections, but since they are both stamps produced for special, faster services, we will be featuring them here as one post.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

1998 / 2010 The Year of the Tiger.

         After doing my last Chinese New Year post they suggested I should do another two. At the moment there are only two signs left where NZ Post has released two issues. All the others have been done already in this blog. Go see the links in our Chinese New Year Collection.

        Chinese people have been part of New Zealand’s cultural make-up since the 1860s, when the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce sought workers for the Otago gold mines. From a population of just over 1,200 in 1867, the Chinese/ Taiwanese Chinese population had grown to more than 145,000 – a vital part of a multicultural society. Today (2015) that number is much larger and you will find Chinese, or other Asians in all sectors of New Zealand society.

       Chinese New Year festivals have rapidly become a highlight of New Zealand’s entertainment calendar. They include colourful street parades, a bustling Asian markets and local or international cultural performances of various kinds. We usually go to the lantern festival held in Albert Park of downtown Auckland. As well as the displays and lights, there are the dancing displays and stalls. Oh not forgetting the food! 

         People born in the Year of the Tiger (1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986 and 1998) are generally well liked because of their charismatic personalities. Always at their happiest when climbing the ladder of success, they are quick learners and like their sign, often prefer to hunt (work) alone. Famous ‘Tigers’ include Agatha Christie, Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Arms Postal Fiscals - Part Three.

         This will be my last post on Revenue Stamps. I feel it is about time I moved on to something else. In this, my final post of Revenue Stamps, I want to just present a small collection of items where the Arms Stamps have been used. First I have included some postal items using Arms Type stamps. Lower down we come to a few examples of Revenue use, including a nice little collection of telephone toll cards. I will end this study with what I have called the ultimate Revenue document. Make sure you check that one out.

Postal Use. 

A First Flight Pictorial cover, dated 19th July 1940, sent to the USA and return, via Noumea, Canton Island, Hawaii. The postage was 4/- paid with a 4/- Arms stamp. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Arms Postal Fiscals - Part Two.

      In this post I will show you the complete Arms set. Both the original 1931 Issue and the 1940 Overprint Issue. When I first began to study Revenue stamps I thought that the 1940 Overprints were bold black figures overprinted on existing stamps but actually, in the lower values, most of them were new values being added to the 1931 set. You will notice that further down the page, some of the high values were existing stamps overprinted in 1940. Because of this overlap between issues I have decided arranged them on this page with both issues being combined as one set. 

1/3 - Lemon.                                   1/3 - Orange/Yellow.                                 1/3 - Black Text.                                1/3 - Blue Text.
 1s 3d - Lemon Arms Type was issued in 1931. When it proved difficult to read it was re-issued a few months later in an Orange-Yellow colour. It was issued with black text in 1955.  In July 1956 a mistake was made with blue lettering in place of the black.    

Saturday, 13 December 2014

1998 - Millennium Series II - A New Beginning.

Immigration to a New Land.
          The second issue in the Millennium series was about immigration to New Zealand by people wanting to make a new start in a new country.

Millennium Series I.                       Millennium Series III.

          New Zealand was the last major land area outside the polar regions to be occupied by humans. This occupation began a thousand years ago and involved, perhaps, a few thousand migrants who braved the south-west Pacific Ocean to get to New Zealand from Central Polynesia.
          European settlement began seriously in New Zealand around 1815, and by 1881, the non-Maori population had reached half a million. By the middle of that same decade, people born in New Zealand became a majority of the non-Maori population.
          By the time the Immigration Act 1987 was passed, less than half of New Zealand’s new permanent migrants were from Europe or North America. The new Act favoured those with skills New Zealand needed, as a result, there was a rapid increase in the numbers of migrants coming from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia.
          In the 1990s, a point system opened up immigration even further and by 1995 Taiwan had replaced Britain as the largest country of origin.

         40c - The Maori /The First Settlers.                               $1.00 - Fortune Seekers (1800-1920).
80c - British / European Settlers (1840-1914). 

$1.20 - Post War British / European Migrants (1945-1970).
$1.50 - Pacific Islanders (1960-).
$1.80 - Asian Arrivals (1980-).

Friday, 12 December 2014

2003 / 2015 The Year of the Sheep.

        In 2003 and 2015 Chinese celebrated The New Year under the Chinese lunar sign The Year of the Sheep. In both years New Zealand Post issued stamps and a miniature sheet to mark this event. Following on with Allan's series of Chinese New Year issues, I will be looking at both of  these issues in this post. When we reach the Year of the Sheep for a third time I hope to include that issue here as well.

      See our complete collection of Chinese New Year Issues.

2015 The Year of the Sheep.
 The Chinese Zodiac consists of 12 signs of the zodiac – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey rooster, dog and pig. Also known as Year of the Ram or Goat, the sheep is the eighth animal in the Chinese lunar calendar, and is known to be gentle and calm.
Calm and gentle, I like that; it describes sheep well. Sheep are not dumb animals as many would believe. The main problem is when they are being herded or handled be humans, they become stressed. Then all reason goes out the door. Take your time, herd them gently, keep the dogs backed off and you'll be amazed how much difference it makes.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

1941 Cover to the HMS Prince of Wales.

Wow! This is postal history at its best.
          I found this cover while I was looking for examples for my third page on the 1931 Arms Fiscals. As I researched the last voyage of the HMS Prince of Wales I became more intrigued with the story. It quickly became clear that this cover never could have reached the ship in time, particularly if it went via London.
          When I showed Allan he suggested we give this item its own special post. So this post includes the cover and its story. Then I have shown a photograph of the mighty warship Prince of Wales and a description of the Japanese attack. Finally, as an extra bonus I have a Japanese postcard celebrating the "Sea Battle off Malaya 10 December 1941" which led to the loss of the two battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse.  

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

2015 75th Anniversary of Air New Zealand.

         Air New Zealand originated in 1940 as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), a flying boat company operating trans-Tasman flights between New Zealand and Australia. TEAL became wholly owned by the New Zealand government in 1965, whereupon it was renamed Air New Zealand. The airline mainly served international routes until 1978, when the government merged it and the domestic-orientated New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NAC) into a single airline under the Air New Zealand name.
        Air New Zealand was largely privatised in 1989, but returned to majority government ownership in 2001 after a failed tie up with Australian carrier Ansett Australia (when Ansett suffered financial issues and folded operations during that year).
        In November 2013, The Fifth National Government reduced its share in Air New Zealand from 73% to 53% as part of its controversial asset sales programme. It made $365 million from this deal.
         Air New Zealand currently operates an international long-haul fleet consisting of mainly the Boeing 777 variant family, with Boeing 767-300 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft supplementing them. Airbus A320 aircraft operate on short-haul international routes (i.e. to Australia and the Pacific Islands), and on domestic routes alongside Boeing 737-300 airliners. 
        Air New Zealand's regional subsidiaries, Air Nelson, Eagle Airways, and Mount Cook Airline, operate additional short-haul New Zealand domestic services using turboprop aircraft.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

1997 - Millennium Series I - Discoverers.

The first issue in the Millennium Series, leading up to the Year 2000, was called Discoverers. It had the theme of discovering and exploring New Zealand.

Millennium Series Overview.                   Millennium Series II

I was very impressed with this issue when I started to writing about it for this post. It is about six early explorers who visited New Zealand. Of course if we make a list of explorers of New Zealand, the first on our list would be Captain James Cook. There he is on the first stamp, the 40c value. 
The next two stamps are about the Maori explorers and discovers of New Zealand, Maui and Kupe. The final three stamps show the three other famous explorers from this early period. They are two Frenchmen, Jean de Surville, Dumont d'Urville and a Dutchman, Abel Tasman. 
Six Famous men, six amazing stories, six great stamps.

40c - James Cook.                                                  80c - Kupe.                                                 $1.00 - Maui. 

$1.20 - Jean de Surville.                               $1.50 - Dumont d'Urville.                                       $1.80 - Abel Tasman.              

Friday, 5 December 2014

Arms Postal Fiscals - Part One.

The Arms Design.
In 1929 Linley Richardson was commissioned to design a new set of fiscal stamps. His design incorporated his own interpretation of the New Zealand Coat of Arms which varied considerably from the version authorised by Royal Warrant and included the New Zealand flag in place of the Union Jack. Compare this with the old type NZ Arms below.

4/- Red - NZ Arms
An interesting and Detailed Design, often overlooked by collectors.  

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Index Eleven - 2015 - 2019.

Stamps Issued 2010 - 2014
Dark Blue: - Link to Featured Post.
Light Blue: - Link to Part of Set or Mention.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

2014 Baypex National Stamp Show.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Hastings Stamp Collectors Club and the 80th anniversary of the Hawke’s Bay Philatelic Society. To mark these significant anniversaries, a National Stamp Show is being held in the Hawke’s Bay.

          Baypex 2014 took place from 14 to 16 November 2014 at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Taradale, Napier. Hawke’s Bay is home to the twin cities of Hastings and Napier, known for their fine wine, Art Deco architecture and stunning weather.
         To commemorate Baypex 2014, New Zealand Post is issuing an exhibition miniature sheet and exhibition souvenir cover. The unique collectables show the iconic Soundshell from the Marine Parade in Napier. These special collectables incorporate three stamps from the For King & Empire stamp issue into the miniature sheet.
        Each day of the exhibition a different postmark, designed by Alan Hollows of New Zealand Post, was used on items posted at the exhibition. Below are proofs of the three cancels for the dates 14th through 16th of November, 2014.
Some of the images in this post were used with permission from the illustrated catalogue of StampsNZ
You can visit their web site and On-line Catalogue at, 

Some information on this post came from the NZ Post Web Site. 

The special exhibition postmark cancels came from the web site of

Monday, 1 December 2014

Postage Due Issues

         Hi from Anne. I never had much interest in stamps until Allan showed me this blog. I asked if I could help him and he gave me all the New Issues to post. "These don't need any special knowledge. All the information available is on the NZ Post site," he said. When I wanted to do more he and Mary gave me some extra projects, the postage dues being one of them.

         This post is special in that I used Asami's Main Index, on this blog, to find the three issues rather than a catalogue as we usually have done. Once I knew there were three issues, I then went in search of the stamps. I laid these out on the page and showed them to Allan. My efforts were rejected as not interesting enough.

        So I went looking for some special items of postal history and Allan pulled a few items out of his large library of stamp images. If you are reading this, then I've been allowed to push the publish button.