Sunday, 18 December 2016

1982 Architecture

The next issue of New Zealand Architecture appeared in 1982
with a four stamp issue featuring two houses and two public buildings.

20c - Alberton, Auckland.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

1997 Ross Dependency Antarctic Birds

Six Antarctic sea birds are depicted on the 1997 Ross Dependency stamp issue. While the stamps were issued in sheets with the World Wildlife Fund logo printed on four of the six values, however all six stamps are available without the logo from the se-tenant block as can be seen above and on the First Day Cover below.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

1996 Ross Dependency Antarctic Landscapes.

          The Ross Dependency issued it second annual stamp issue on the 13th November 1996. In this case, the theme was Antarctic Landscapes, a popular theme that has appeared often in the Ross Dependency stamp issue series.

          New Zealand's claimed territory in the Antarctic, the Ross Dependency, is justly famous for the variety and beauty of its wilderness landscape. From the ice-choked shores of the Ross Sea to the buckled pressure ridges on the fringe of the massive Ross Ice Shelf the Ross Dependency's landscape changes dramatically towards the interior of the 'seventh continent'. The Transantarctic Mountains, with peaks rising to over 4000 metres and all extensively glaciated, dissect Ross Dependency separating the coastal region from the high ice plateau of the East Antarctic Ice Shelf. Active volcanoes, like Mount Erebus, are also important features of the Ross Dependency.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

1995 Ross Dependency Antarctic Explorers

         After the 1994 Ross Dependency Definitives it was decided the demand for Ross Dependency stamps justified an annual issue. The first of these appeared on the 9th November 1995 and has continued until at least 2016.

        This first issue featured six famous explorers with their ships/aircraft in the background. These were interesting stamps, each with an exciting story of adventure to be told. Each explorer was selected because they had left their mark on the section of Antarctica we now know as the Ross Dependency.

        These stamps were not available for use on postage in New Zealand but the stamps and First Day Covers could be purchased from New Zealand Post via their Christchurch Branch where Ross Dependency postage was handled for dispatching to and from Scott Base in the Dependency.

        At the time of writing, I have been unable to find a good example of the First Day Cover for this issue. One will be added later if a suitable image comes available. Meantime I have included three images of the presentation pack issued for this set.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Late 80s Stamp Exhibitions.

        During the 1980s NZ Post was getting involved in a lot of international stamp exhibitions. The main driving force behind this was marketing and sales to the collector market so by promoting New Zealand stamps overseas, a greater demand was created for our stamps. There was an NZ Post stand at each exhibition and in many cases, a special miniature sheet was sold too. Usually, this sheet was just a current issue sheet overprinted with the exhibition's name, logo and details but in a few cases, a special miniature sheet was created. 
        This page has collected all of these special issues together so they can be compared and reviewed. Where possible, links will be provided back to the original issues appearing on these sheets. In some cases, you will find these special sheets are included with the original issues as well. We make no apology for this as it adds extra interest and greater depth to this blog.

1986 Stockholmia Exhibition.
The 1986 Scenic Bays and 1986 Health miniature sheets were also issued with the Stockholmia '86 overprint to celebrate New Zealand Post's attendance at the Stockholmia '86 World Philatelic Exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden.

 Exhibition Miniature Sheet with one 80 cent stamp (Surcharged to support exhibition) 1990 World Philatelic Exhibition Auckland - Stockholmia '86 Overprint.
See our post 1985 - 1986 Scenic Stamps.

Monday, 21 November 2016

2005/2017 Year of the Rooster

2017 - Year of the Rooster.

         The Year of the Rooster will begin on 28 January, 2017 and will be celebrated in New Zealand and around the world. The rooster is the tenth animal in the Chinese zodiac and those born in the Year of the Rooster are loyal, trustworthy, observant and keen to offer their opinions to those around them. Character traits associated with the Rooster include confidence, courageousness and resourcefulness.

        NZ Post issued this set of four values along with the usual Miniature Sheet and First Day Covers. There were the usual collector's items such as plate blocks, value blocks and full sheets. Also, an attractive presentation pack could be purchased as well. The highlight of the collector items was a numbered and framed gold foil miniature sheet.  

  The photo to the left was taken at the 2016 Chinese New Year - Lantern Festival.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Annual New Zealand Stamp Collections.

Each year New Zealand Post produces 'The New Zealand Collection' - a comprehensive album of all the stamps produced in the past year. This premium publication features stunning pictorial images and extensive commentary on the year's stamp issues from some of New Zealand’s most well-known personalities.

The advert header from the NZ Post Site.

We have decided to feature these collections on this blog since it's part of the New Zealand Stamp Scene. I know it will turn into a free advert for NZ Post but I hope that over time this post will become more of a historic page. Prices are included for interest only and these items will not be sold by this blog. For current price and availability please contact NZ Post via their website

2013 Collection.                                        2014 Collection.                                           2015 Collection.

 2016 Collection.                                                 2017 Collection. 

       2018 Collection.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

1994 Ross Dependency Wildlife Definitives.

Short History of Ross Dependency Stamps.
          The first stamps inscribed Ross Dependency were issued on January 11, 1957, in conjunction with the New Zealand Antarctic Expedition, led by Sir Edmund Hillary (part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition). Before the expedition left New Zealand, on 23 November 1956, Hillary had been appointed postmaster. When the expedition chose the site for Scott Base, a post office was established, initially in a tent.
          The initial set of stamps consisted of four stamps, in the denominations 3d, 4d, 8d, and 1s 6d. When New Zealand adopted decimal currency in 1967, the stamps were reissued in denominations of 2c, 3c, 7c, and 15c.
          A new definitive set, consisting of six stamps denominated 3c, 4c, 5c, 8c, 10c and 18c was issued in 1972. The next set, issued in 1982 to mark the 25th anniversary of Scott Base, consisted of 5c, 10c, 20c, 30c, 40c and 50c stamps.
          The post office at Scott Base was closed in 1987 as part of the rationalisation of New Zealand Post. Mail from the base was handled in Christchurch, and the issuing of “Ross Dependency” stamps ceased.
          New Zealand Post resumed the issue of stamps inscribed “Ross Dependency” in 1994, “due to local and international demand.” A definitive set was issued in 1994, and pictorial sets of five or six stamps have been issued annually since then.
          The denominations match those of contemporary New Zealand stamps. However, the stamps are not generally valid on New Zealand mail. Mail from the Ross Dependency is processed by the “Ross Dependency Agency”, located at a post office in Christchurch. Members of the public (mostly philatelists and stamp dealers) are able to post items bearing Ross Dependency stamps at this office.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

2016 Ross Dependency.

       Covered in ice for much of the year, and with seawater temperatures below zero, who would guess that beneath the surface the Ross Sea is a world teeming with life?

        The Ross Sea seafloor is home to some of the most diverse invertebrate communities in the Southern Ocean. In stark contrast to the animals living above the ice, the sea floor creatures are often colourful and definitely unique. More than half of Antarctic marine species cannot be found anywhere else. They generally grow slowly, are often very large, and can also live for a long time.

         These spectacular seafloor animals are very well adapted to life in this cold, often dark, and unique environment, where conditions have not changed for millions of years, and where they have evolved in isolation.

         Because of the stable and narrow range of conditions they experience in their habitats now, there is concern about how these animals will survive in a rapidly changing ocean. A great example is how they might cope with temperatures warming above those they currently live in, and the modifications that this will cause to their wider ecosystem. Yet a warming ocean may also enable some organisms to expand their distributions and the introduction of new species may also bring challenges to these isolated communities.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

1982 / 1983 Anniversaries / Commemoratives

      This post covers the two Anniversary Issues of 1982 and 1983. Both issues contain five stamps covering a range of centenaries, anniversaries and commemoratives. Each stamp is attractive, interesting and has a story to tell.

1982 Anniversaries / Commemoratives.

20c - Centenary of Tauranga.     20c - Centenary of Hawera.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

1981 Anniversaries / Family Life.

1981 Anniversaries / Commemoratives.

The 1981 Commemorative Stamp Issue consisted of two stamps commemorating 
the Centenary of Feilding and the International Year of Disabled Persons.

20c - Centenary of Feilding.
1981 marked the centenary of the Constitution of Feilding as a Borough.  The town was named after the Honourable Colonel William Henry Adelbert Feilding, 1836-1895, son of 7th Earl of Denbeigh.  Feilding is a community serving the rural area of the upper Manawatu and has a population of about 13,000.  A main feature of the borough is the stock sale yards which play an important part in the agricultural and pastoral activities of the district.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

1980 Architecture

        The second Architecture issue featured buildings of a slightly more modern design. They include two houses, a courthouse and a grand Government building. This has been said to have been the second largest wooden structure in the world.

14c - Ewelme Cottage, Parnell.
The cottage was built in 1863-64 for the Rev Vicesimus Lush the first vicar of Howick and his family.  The kauri cottage was eventually purchased by the Auckland City Council and leased to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.  Restored to its former glory and richly endowed by many of the Lush family possessions, the cottage is open to the public.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

2016 Christmas.

         Every year since 1960 New Zealand has issued special stamps for Christmas. Originally this was a single stamp but more recently has become a set of five or six stamp plus adhesives. Usually, this occurs much earlier, late October or early November, so mail carrying these stamps can reach their overseas destinations by Christmas day. 
         The 2016 Christmas issue featured five values showing five people from the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. It's a wonderful story, displayed with bright colour in five different images that, as we will find further down this page, become part of a much larger picture.
         Three of these stamps were also issued in an adhesive format for those who wish to buy larger quantities of these stamps.

The five values of the 2016 Christmas Issue.

Monday, 17 October 2016

1979 Architecture

        This is the first of three New Zealand Architecture issues, the others appearing in 1980 and 1982. New Zealand Architecture is an interesting subject that has appeared on many stamps. At first most of the buildings were copies from styles found in England but as these styles were adapted for New Zealand conditions, new and distinctly New Zealand styles began to emerge.        
         Buildings from the 1800s were the subject of the first issue on early New Zealand architecture. Notice the purpose of each of these buildings, one a private house, two mission buildings and one Government building.

10c - Riverlands Cottage, Blenheim.
Built about 1865 for Charles Redwood, son of a pioneering family.  Redwood arrived in New Zealand in 1842 and purchased the land in 1865.  The present cob cottage could date earlier than this since "squatting" was still a common practice in the 1860s.  Lack of suitable timber in Wairau forced the construction of the cob style house.  The cob walls were constructed from a mud and tussock mixture while the roof was made from wooden shingles.   Administered by the Marlborough Historical Society, interest in the restoration of the cottage from its badly dilapidated state began in 1959.  It was opened to the public in 1965.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

1979 Other Events.

1979 United Nations Year Of The Child.

10c - Children At Playschool.
1979 was designated the International Year of the Child by the United Nations in order to focus the attention of all countries on the special needs of children, and to stimulate the sharing of international experience and resources to promote the well being of children everywhere.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

1992 Antarctic Seals.

        This is the third New Zealand issue during the period when the Ross Dependency didn't issue its own postage stamps. While the name Ross Dependency does appear on the stamps, this issue was valid for postage throughout New Zealand like any other New Zealand stamp.

        The issue celebrates some of the seals found in the dependency. It also highlights that fact that even in this cold, harsh region, there is life to be found in abundance. I think the best it the one that can be seen to the left, showing a mother with her calf.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

2016 A Journey Through Middle-earth.

        This issue was rejected by Allan, the owner of this blog, as being just a collectable, having nothing to do with the true objective of stamps. He said the main purpose of stamps were to show postage had been paid on mail travelling through the postal system. While I agree with him I also want to point out that NZ Post clearly stated that this was a product aimed at the collector market. We argued that this issue should have a place in this blog and in the end he agreed to allow it saying "You can do this post if you like. I want nothing to do with it." So here it is a joint post by Kim and myself (Asami). 
          (In the end Allan did help but don't tell him I told you. LOL!)
         Here is the opening paragraph and banner on the NZ Post page. (Allan please notice the use of the word "collectable." They are not trying to pass this off as a postage stamp. They are presenting an amazing stamp with a lovely book to go with it.)
"Whether you’re a fan of Hobbits, Orcs, Dwarves, Elves, Men or Wizards,
there’s something for everyone in our brand new Middle-earth collectable!"

One Stamp To Rule Them All!
In the depths of Mount NZ Post, designers were secretly at work crafting the master stamp,
the one stamp that would rule all other Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit stamps.

"One Stamp to rule them all,
One Stamp to find them,
One Stamp to bring them all and
on this blog page bind them."

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

1979 Statesmen of the 19th Century.

Notable 19th Century New Zealand Statesmen were depicted on this se-tenant strip of three stamps. It could be said that these three men were "fathers of the nation" of New Zealand. From Sir George Grey who guided the country through the early Maori wars; to Sir Julius Vogel with his great infrastructure projects; to Richard John Seddon with his social reforms; these three men gave much to New Zealand. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

1992 Landscapes Booklet

1992 saw a change in New Zealand stamps when NZ Post began issuing themed definitive booklets. This is the first issue where ten different stamps combine to create one complete picture of a theme.
This booklet stamp issue of 10, 45 cent stamps depicts a scenic panorama reflecting the beauty of New Zealand's countryside. It is designed to incorporate many different types of New Zealand scenery. Each stamp shows a specific self-contained landscape but is also part of one total integrated theme.

Friday, 23 September 2016

1900 The Wellington Flag.

        The Wellington Flag is a machine cancellation that appeared in 1900 as New Zealand was celebrating the turn of the century. It does not seem to have been used in any location other than Wellington, hence it normally referred to as The Wellington Flag. The cancel shows the Union Jack in the top left corner with the four stars of the Southern Cross against a vertical lines background. In the centre of the stars are the large letters 'NZ' for New Zealand. The design even features a wave as if its being moved in a gentle breeze. I believe the date and Post Office name was part of this cancel as it appears in exactly the same location in every example I've seen.

         Now this cancel first captured Allan and Mary's interest when they found it on a couple of stamps that had been removed from issue long before this cancel appeared. These are shown again at the bottom of this page.
        One day recently it was suggested that we should go back and try to find more about this cancel. I was given the task and my answer to that is not much, other than what has been said above, but what I did find were some very interesting covers. I hope these will go some way to telling us more.

We invite anyone who knows more to contact us via a comment below.
State "Non-Publish" if you don't want your comment published.  

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Antarctica Post - Page Two

        Antarctica Post has issued a new stamp each year since 2002. These stamps are designed and issued with the help of New Zealand Wine Post. Their stamps secure special delivery between the USA bases, South Pole Station or McMurdo Station to Antarctica Post Agency in Dunedin. Once the letter reaches New Zealand it is forwarded using other postal services.

         As well as providing a postal service they also have an eye for the collector market as well. They offer a service where for $10.00 they will provide a letter or postcard cancelled at the South Pole and sent to you via New Zealand. Examples of these can be seen on this page.

         There will be some small, poor quality stamps in this collection until we can find better replacements. We considered it was better to present a complete collection rather than go for a part collection of good quality stamps. Like we did with our NZ Wine Post collection, this post will be published partly finished with further work continuing after that. For updates see our 'What is New in this Blog.'

Our collection of Antarctica Post stamps has continued to grow until now the decision has been made to establish the second page.     

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

1998 The Statue of Wairaka

       Back in June, when Kim was working on her post, 1998 - 1999 Scenic Stamps, she came across a stamp featuring the Statue of Wairaka found mounted on a large rock at the mouth of the Whakatane River (harbour). At that time I provided her with a short version of the story of Wairaka but now I wish to explore this story in greater detail along with better photographs of her statue that can be barely seen on the stamp.

$1.50 - Wairaka at Sunset, Whakatane.
A seldom-seen perspective, by Cam Feast, of the statue of Wairaka which stands on top of one of the rocks at the channel entrance of Whakatane Harbour (river) in the Bay of Plenty.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

2011 Matariki - Fish Hooks

Matariki - Hei Matau (Fish Hooks)
        The appearance of the star cluster known as Matariki is a time to celebrate New Zealand's unique history and place in the world. New Zealand Post marked the start of the Māori New Year with it's Matariki 2011 - Hei Matau stamp issue.
        Meaning 'fish hook', matau are traditionally an important aspect of Māori life, providing Māori with the means to catch their kai moana or 'food from the sea'. Many fishermen had their own 'lucky' fish hook, which they would wear around their necks (hei matau) for safe keeping.
        Today hei matau are used less for catching fish and more for catching someone's eye when worn as pendants. They remain a cultural treasure (taonga) and have an important link to the origins of Aotearoa, New Zealand. According to Māori legend, New Zealand's North Island was once a giant fish that was caught by the half-god and seafarer Māui, using a woven line and his magic bone matau.
        Hei matau have a strong connection to Tangaroa, god of the sea, and as such the stamps in this issue feature the commonly stylised element of the sea. Meaning 'the fish hook of Māui', the phrase 'Te matau o Māui-tikitiki-a-Taranga' has also been incorporated into the design.

Monday, 5 September 2016

1977 Education

       Education in New Zealand at primary and secondary levels is compulsory for all children.  Education at pre-school and university and other tertiary levels are also provided.  It's a system taking children through from the youngest until they become young adults ready to begin careers in New Zealand society.

       A unique feature of New Zealand's education system is the Correspondence School which provides tuition by correspondence for children living in remote areas and for those otherwise unable to attend normal classes.

       New Zealand Post Office issued five stamps to recognise education in New Zealand and commemorate the centenary of the Education Act of 1877, which established the Department of Education. These stamps were issued in a strip of five se-tenant stamps.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

1978 Anniversaries.

The 1978 Commemorative Stamp Issue honours the centenaries of two farming towns: Stratford and Ashburton; a sub-tropical county: the Bay of Islands; and the introduction of the telephone into New Zealand.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

2016 75th Anniversary of the Navy.

          On 1 October 1941, His Majesty King George VI approved the designation ‘Royal New Zealand Navy’, creating the independent maritime force that is the RNZN today. Since then, many thousands have served in the Navy, playing a crucial role in contributing towards the prosperity and security of New Zealand. For 75 years, the Navy has served New Zealand in many ways, some of which are shown in the stamps below.

           2016 marks 75 years of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), and NZ Post was celebrating with a six value, commemorative stamp issue that reflects the essential role that the RNZN plays.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

1990 Antarctic Birds.

         Ever since James Cook sailed his ships Resolution and Adventure south of the Antarctic Circle in January 1773, New Zealand has been closely linked with this vast, frozen continent at the bottom of the world. Cook called in at Dusky Sound to replenish supplies following his epic voyage of discovery. Numerous explorers since Cook have set off from New Zealand on ambitious and dangerous Antarctic expeditions of their own.
         It is not surprising then, that the continent holds a special place in the hearts of New Zealanders.  The legacy of exploration, however, is not the sole reason.  Environmental issues have always been of paramount importance. We were the first nation, for example, to suggest that the Antarctic be turned into a World Park, free from exploitation.
         Today, with the Antarctic under threat from pollution, mining and a potential tourist boom, the protection of its environment and wildlife is of great concern.  The coldest and most desolate place on earth is, interestingly, home to an amazing abundance of life, including a few hardy and populous bird species - the subject of this special stamp issue.
        "Survivors in a Harsh Climate" is an apt subtitle for this issue because the six species have in common the ability to breed and survive in unforgiving Antarctic conditions.  The extreme climate makes survival a never-ending challenge.  It is common for high percentages of eggs and chicks to be lost to bad weather, or killed by natural predators.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

2016 Road to Rio

          Athletes from around the world united (on 5-21 August) at the 28th Summer Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They competed in 42 different sports, contested at 32 competition venues, spread across four regions of Rio. Since the inception of the first Olympic Games in 1896, our Kiwi athletes have inspired generations, winning a total of 103 medals - 43 gold, 19 silver and 41 bronze.
          ‘Be the Inspiration’ is the theme of New Zealand’s 2016 Olympic Games campaign. It tells the story of how we as a nation support and inspire our athletes as they prepare to pull on the iconic black singlet - which has been worn with pride by generations before them - and in so doing, inspire us.

         The Rio Olympic stamp issue consists of ten $1 stamps - representing the ten events that New Zealand has previously won gold medals in athletics, boxing, canoeing, swimming, equestrian, field hockey, triathlon, rowing, cycling and sailing. Featuring elements of the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s (NZOC's) ‘Be the Inspiration’ campaign, the photographs on the stamps reflect the New Zealand landscape as the athletes' training ground for future success.

Friday, 12 August 2016

2016 Health Stamps.

 Back to 2015 Health Stamp Issue.

To view this issue in our Health Stamp Collection
2016 Health Issue.

The Theme of this issue is - Being Active.

         The 2016 Children’s Health stamps show how Kiwi kids can easily embrace a healthy and active lifestyle through regular daily exercise. Just 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day is all it takes for kids to build strong, healthy bodies and minds, and friendships too. Whether it’s walking or biking to school, playing sports at lunchtime or climbing the jungle gym – it’s all doable in a day for our kids at play!
          This beautifully illustrated stamp issue consists of three stamps that show children in simple, everyday play. Each stamp represents one of the three key areas of exercise that help keep children healthy: aerobic activity, strength building and flexibility. Together, the three stamps form a seamless illustrated image, shown above and in the collectables further down this post. I like the way the children appear more lifelike and natural.

           Ten cents from the sale of each stamp in this issue goes directly to Stand Children’s Services Tu Maia Whanau (formerly known as Children’s Health Camps). The stamps help to aid the valuable service that Stand provides to children and their families in need around New Zealand.
           New Zealand Post has been a proud supporter of Children’s Health Camps not missing a single yearly issue since they began in 1929. You will find a complete set of all of these issues, including this one, in the indexed pages above.

Friday, 5 August 2016

2010 Matariki - Maori Kites.

Matariki - Manu Tukutuku (Traditional Maori Kites)
       In this post, we feature another of the lesser known crafts of Maori, the making of Maori kites. This issue included only have four values, a miniature sheet and the usual two First Day Covers. Kites were made and flown by both Maori adults and children. As is shown in the stamps below they were made out of many materials and came in a variety of styles or shapes.

50c – Manu Aute
Maori made many of their kites in the shape of birds (manu), reflecting their belief that this was how a person’s soul or spirit was made manifest. ‘Manu aute’ was one of the largest birdlike kites, and the one featured on our 50 cent stamp is the oldest of all surviving specimens.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Dunedin Railway Station.

A collection of stamps featuring this iconic building.

         After parliament buildings and the beehive, Dunedin Railway Station must be one of the buildings most featured on stamps. This beautiful building with its attractive light and dark stonework looks nothing like a station from one side and was once one of the busiest stations from the other. It was built at a time when Dunedin was booming with wealth from gold rushes of inland Otago. Now it is quieter, the station only seeing a few tourist trains each day and the building turned to other uses. But it is still the iconic building, the tourist attraction it always was. And it still makes a great subject for a stamp too.
For stamps on other railway subjects see Trains of New Zealand.

1982 Architecture - 30c Dunedin Railway Station.

30c - Dunedin Railway Station.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

2016 - Courage & Commitment 1916

         Here is the third annual instalment (of five) in New Zealand’s homage to the Great War (World War I). The multiple issue format is unchanged – a set of twenty stamps: a block of six, two se-tenant pairs and a sheetlet of ten; two miniature sheets, one of six and one of four; and a commemorative prestige booklet containing twelve booklet panes.

         By 1916 the scale of the Great War had been truly realised. At home, volunteers for service had slowed to a trickle and to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for more men to fight, conscription was introduced. In New Zealand, the first Anzac Day was observed a year after the Gallipoli landings. As the battle moved to the Western Front, the courage and commitment of the servicemen were sorely tested.

          Our main writer on these kinds of subjects has rejected this series completely so I've picked it up and will try and do what I can to make it fly, but I must confess to lacking knowledge of World War I.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

2012 Matariki - Maori Rock Art.

          Māori rock art is not as well known as Maori wood carving but examples can be found throughout the country. The stamps in this issue depict examples of rock art documented in Te Waipounamu (the South Island) where more than 500 sites have been recorded to date.

           Rock art is applied to a variety of stone types, and while the common perception is that rock art was created using a burnt stick, the majority of the ‘drawings’ in Te Waipounamu appear to have been applied as pigment in solution. The style of Māori rock art is similar to that from wider Polynesia, suggesting that it was a practice brought to New Zealand by its earliest people.

           Māori rock art gives a glimpse of New Zealand’s history and culture, and the drawings included on the six self-adhesive stamps in this issue portray animals now long extinct, representations of everyday life and depictions of the supernatural.

          The rauru (spiral design) on the stamps pays respect to Rangi and Papa, and the light and knowledge that came about from their separation. The colours used in the rauru reflect the land and environment, and the koru represent growth and life and pay respect to the past, present and future.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

New Zealand Wine Post - Wine Labels.

Weston's Winery bottle labels.

Why a collection of wine labels on a blog about postage stamps?
            Weston's Winery is a small winery located close to Dunedin in New Zealand's South Island. They were among the first to establish their own postal service when New Zealand deregulated the postal environment which opened the way for many small local posts to be established.
            The first New Zealand Wine Post (WinePost) stamps appeared in late 1990 and have continued to the present day. Along the way, many fine stamps have been issued. You will have found my series of posts on New Zealand Wine Post, well now I want to add one more page.
             This page goes back to the very early Weston's Winery labels and follows them through to when the WinePost started designing stamps. Those who have taken the time to study these stamps will notice similar themes and designs here. There is a progression from the earliest wine labels right through to the latest stamps. I believe this page gives my WinePost pages some history, perhaps you might say pre-history. Where there is a very obvious connection between a Weston's Wine Label and a Winepost stamp, the stamps have been included here for comparison.  

Stamps and many of the items found on these pages can be purchased from:-

            Note: - I intend to only provide links to this page via the pages of our WinePost collection.

                           Collection Overview.

           Page One - New Zealand Wine Post 1990 - 1999.

           Page Two - New Zealand Wine Post   2000 - 2009.

            Page Three - New Zealand Wine Post 2010 - Today.

           Special Page - New Zealand Wine Post - Official Stamps.

           Special Page - New Zealand Wine Post - Wine Labels.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

How the Kiwi Lost his Wings.

       When I was a child in the early 1960s, one of the then Government-owned radio stations, 1ZB had a children's request program every Sunday morning. Children could write in and request a story they wanted to hear. Every so often a Maori story would be included as well. I remember some of these such as Maui fishing up Aotearoa, Hinemoa and How the Kiwi Lost his Wings. I think out of these, this last one was my favourite.

       Now more recently I found a copy of this story so I've used it to help me create this post. 
I am so pleased I can share this story with you now. I question the role of two of the birds in this version but in the end, they don't affect the outcome much so I've decided to leave them in. They also have given me the chance to feature two extra stamps as well.

       The stamps have been chosen from various sources to add variety to this post. You will notice a couple of NZ Post definitive stamps; a health stamp; one of the popular round kiwi series; two stamps from local post - New Zealand Wine Post and one from the NZ Fish & Game Council. Links provided will take you to our posts on each of these.

For other Maori legends, see our index page - New Zealand Maori.

Friday, 22 July 2016

2016 Scenic Definitives

Definitive Tour.

       New Zealand is famous for its beautiful and diverse scenery. From the wildness of rugged coastline to snow-capped mountain peaks, there is always a view to be seen and enjoyed.  This is the second issue of the new format where the details and Maori design have been moved to the left-hand side. There are 8 stamps featuring 6 different scenes (2 stamps being issued in an adhesive format as well for stamp books.)
       The purpose of this issue is, of course, definitive stamps, on sale until further notice. These stamps are an addition to the existing Scenic Definitives range and are designed to accommodate the changes in postage rates from 1 July 2016.

40c - Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo
Built on the shores of Lake Tekapo in 1935, the Church of the Good Shepherd is an iconic New Zealand location. This interdenominational church is a popular tourist destination, with people travelling from all over New Zealand and abroad to see the stunning views from within the church and to get married against the idyllic backdrop.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Provisional - Surcharges - Overprints.

        Here is another one of those types of stamps that are often overlooked or unloved, but it must be remembered that they still played an important role, filling gaps when other stamps were unavailable. Allan has asked me to go through his blog and collect them all together on one page.

        Most of the text here has been copied from his other posts but what is of more importance is to be able to view these stamps together as a thematic collection. I have also arranged these according to the date they were issued rather than include them in their original definitive issue, which in this case, would have left the arms overprints in their wrong positions. 

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Kupe and The First Maori Settlers.

        Here is the story of Kupe and the First Maori Settlers of Aotearoa (New Zealand). It is a story of the voyage of the great waka (canoe), Matawhaorua, and the voyage of its successor Ngä-toki-matawhaorua; journeys across vast dangerous oceans to reach this land of Aotearoa. In the words of this story, we will meet the legendary voyager Kupe and others who sailed with him or after him. Mighty taniwha (dragon-like) and great ariki (great men of descent) had roles to play in this story as well. Finally, I hope to show you how closely this story is connected with the modern New Zealand of today.

        This post was something very different for me. While researching for other Maori stories that are featured on New Zealand postage stamps, I began to realise that there were a number of stories set around the legendary Kupe. I wondered if it might be possible to put these together into a single post, illustrated with postage stamps, while still being respectful to the oral traditions of the Maori People.

        There are a few variations in the stories of Kupe so I have decided where possible to follow the versions and histories recorded by the Northland iwi (tribes), in particular, Te Rarawa, Te Aupöuri and Ngä Puhi. I have also drawn on information and stamps that can be found in other posts on this blog, but I make no apology in repeating myself here if it adds to the story we are considering.

The illustration above - Kupe and his wife Kuramärotini discovering Aotearoa.  
By Paul Lloyd - Flickr: Kupe Group Statue, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

1998 - 1999 Scenic Stamps.

1998 Scenic Skies.
Have you ever laid back and looked up at the sky, or maybe sat on the sand dunes at the beach and watched a sunset. The sky is forever changing, always there as a back-drop to New Zealand's beautiful scenery. Why not have an issue of stamps in which the sky is the star attraction? That is what NZ Post decided to do in 1998.
 For this issue, photographers have captured the clear blue skies and dramatic sunrises and sunsets that form the canopy above New Zealand; an aspect of the country's landscape that many of us take for granted.

40c - Sunrise over Cambridge.
Derek Morrison captures the grace, richness and awesome power of the sun, as it creeps above the horizon of the Kaimai Ranges near Cambridge to bath Waikato farmland in light. These mornings when the sun catches the clouds like this always look beautiful but the day that follows will often bring the rain.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

1984 Antarctic Research

In the last 100 years, 'Terra Australis Incognita', the 'Hidden Southern Land', has been slowly unveiling its secrets after spending a lifetime in forbidding silence. It's 14 million square kilometres of ice and snow is described as being the driest, coldest and windiest place in the world. Yet, undeniably, this cruel continent commands an air of awesome significance and supreme beauty.

On the southern most tip of Ross Island, located on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf on the Antarctic continent, is Scott Base, established in 1957 to support New Zealand's participation in the International Geophysical Year scientific research programme.  Since then it has been continuously occupied by scientists and support staff.  Other bases have been established including Vanda Station on the shores of Lake Vanda in the Dry Valley region of Victoria Land on the Antarctic continent proper, and at Cape Bird on the northern tip of Ross Island, 100 kilometres from Scott Base.  The seasons govern the population and the work carried out but always the base is manned.

Friday, 24 June 2016

2016 Queen Elizabeth 90th Birthday.

          On 21 April 2016, Queen Elizabeth II turned 90 years old, making her the first British monarch to reach this impressive milestone. Queen Elizabeth II has achieved many incredible milestones as the reigning monarch, including being New Zealand’s and Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, being the longest-lived sovereign in history and being married longer than any other monarch.

         To celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, New Zealand Post created this very special stamp issue. Included in this issue are three stamps, housed within a unique miniature sheet. Each stamp contains three images ‒ simply tilt the miniature sheet and watch the images change! The images take us from the Queen’s christening in 1926 right through to her attendance at the 2015 Anzac commemorations in London. As you tilt the miniature sheet, the captions beneath the stamps change too ‒ resulting in a comprehensive view of the Queen’s lifetime. The stamps are featured in a classic stylised gold-gilded frame against a royal purple background, making this a truly regal stamp.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

2013 Matariki - The Koru.

         When the star cluster known as Matariki appears in the night sky it signals the Maori New Year and a time of new beginnings. The Matariki 2013 stamp issue celebrates the koru - a pattern symbolising new life and regeneration.

          Matariki is a significant event for Māori and is widely acknowledged to signal a change of seasons. In traditional Māori society, Matariki was believed to foretell whether the year ahead would be plentiful. It was also a time of festivity when communities would come together to reflect on the past and look ahead to new beginnings.

          The message of new beginnings is represented in the koru pattern, which is derived from an unfurling silver fern frond. Each of the six self-adhesive stamps in this issue incorporates the koru pattern along with aspects of traditional Māori culture that have particular significance during the time of Matariki.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

1996 - 1997 Scenic Stamps

         Gardens and Trains are the feature of this post. The next two issues of our series on the scenic stamp issues of New Zealand.
        There are some amazing gardens in parks throughout the country. Every town and city seems to have them. Some are large parks covering many hectares while others are tiny gardens tucked away in some unused corner. All have their own beauty and individual identity, being enjoyed by many visitors each year. The 1996 Scenic Issue features five of these more well-known parks.

         There is something about travelling by train. Its different to flying, more in contact with the surrounding scenery. New Zealand has some great trains, an attraction to both overseas visitors and locals a like. I've only travelled on two of these, the trans-alpine between Christchurch & Greymouth and the North Island Main-trunk between Auckland & Wellington. This issue features six of them, some still running today and some discontinued. What I like about these stamps is that they don't just show trains, but rather trains in scenery of New Zealand.