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.

The Last Sunset.

 Commemorating the last sunset of 1999.
To celebrate the passing over from one millennium to the next, New Zealand Post issued a 1999 Last Sunset cover, featuring a round Kiwi stamp with a gold sun overprinted in the selvedge. What made this feature particularly interesting for collectors was that the Purple Round Kiwi was no longer available for sale, and only a small quantity of these stamps was overprinted to mark this occasion.
View our collection of The Round Kiwis.

$1.00 -  Purple Round Kiwi.
With gold suns overprinted in the selvedge.

The First Day Cover for 31st December, 1999.
Shown is a sunset scene, plus the time of sunset on that particular day. Up in the top right corner can be seen the Round Kiwi Overprint and a special cancel.

Below and above are two collectors blocks taken from the stamp sheet. Above is the Value Block showing the two stamps in the top right corner. Below is the Plate Block of the six stamps in the bottom left-hand corner with the designer and printer shown in the selvage. This second block was a real find and I was lucky to get hold of a good image like this. The only problem is the colour purple appears to be a bit too dark.

A New Dawn.

Commemorating the first sunrise of 2000.
1 January, 2000, saw the release of the eagerly awaited First to see the New Dawn stamp issue. The 40c stamp was the first New Zealand stamp to be micro-printed and featured a dawn sunrise with a world map overlaid, marking the significance of this once in a lifetime event. The theme behind the stamp is New Zealand leading the world into a new century. 
Pitt Island in the Chathams, a New Zealand territory, were the first inhabited place on earth to witness the new dawn on 1 January, 2000. At around 3.59 NZST those standing on Hakepa (44° 16’S. 176° 10’W.), greeted the light of the new day. 
 Two copies of the New Dawn stamp, mint on the left and used on the right.
Missing Logo between the time and New Zealand.
This is actually the back that is missing. Notice the background behind the letters in "New Zealand." It is grey and not black which means it is a mixture of the other colours of the design.

Above is the last Sunset Maxi Card with the issued stamp and its special cancel. Below is the First Day Cover, (1st January, 2000) and two stamps plus cancel. 

Below is the miniature sheet for this issue with 10 stamps and a map of New Zealand, showing the sunrise time for various places around the country. 

Technical information

                              Date of Issue:
1 January 2000
Dianne Prosser, Wellington, New Zealand
Southern Colour Print, New Zealand
                              Stamp Size:
44mm x 28mm
                              Sheetlet Size:
175mm x 175mm
                              Sheet Size:
50 and 10 stamps
                              Perforation Gauge:   
                              Paper Type:
103 gsm red phosphor coated

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,


  1. That plate block on the Last Sunset is a great. I can see why you are proud of it.

    1. Thanks Paul,
      Yes I do like that item. I remembered seeing it and thought I'll need that for this post. When I came to download it I had no idea where I'd seen it. There was a frantic search before we found it again. (Thanks Asami) The web site is not known for good colour reproductions but its still a nice sharp image.