Sunday, 29 May 2016

2008 Matariki - Maori Culture.

         For the Māori people, the night skies in June traditionally have huge significance: they herald the dawn of a new Māori year. In te reo Maori, yhe Māori language, Matariki is the name of the Pleiades star cluster, in the constellation of Taurus the Bull.  In traditional times, Matariki was a season to celebrate new beginnings and was important for agriculture in establishing the correct time to plant crops. It was also a good time to instruct young people in the lore of the land and the forest as being the colder months much more time was spent indoors. The constellation is also believed to have been used by navigators. See our post -  2007 Southern Skies. 
         The first rising of the Pleiades and of Rigel (Puanga in Māori) occurs just prior to sunrise in late May or early June, and this indicates that the old year has ended and the new year has begun. The annual appearance of the seven stars of ‘Matariki’ (or the Pleiades star cluster) signals a time for renewal, reflection and celebration!
         The actual time for celebrating Matariki varies depending on the iwi (tribe). It has become common practice for various private and public institutions to celebrate Matariki over the period of a week or month anywhere from early June to late July.

         This is the first in a series of annual Matariki stamp issues, exploring different aspects of Maori culture and heritage. In this first issue we take a fascinating journey through Maori history and culture. We celebrated not only the constellation itself but also connections that the Maori spiritual world has to the sea, to the land and to family (whānau). We also learn about the Maori worldview in which the gods, Sky Father Ranginui, Earth Mother Papatūānuku and their children, personify the dramatic forces of nature.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

1975 Definitives / Pictorials - Part Five.

 Definitive Tour.
Back to 1970 Pictorial Definitives.                                Forward to 1980 - 1981 Definitives.

Errors in the Higher Values.

       Finally we come to flaws and errors found in the higher values. I struggled to find a good variety of flaws in these stamps. So this page seems to show a lot more stamps offset on their back than I would have liked. I will continue to look for more and include when I can.

          Series Index.
1975 Pictorials - Part One.  An overview and history of these issues.

1975 Pictorials - Part Two.  The stamp designs and subjects in more detail.

1975 Pictorials - Part Three.   Flaws & errors found in the 9 low value roses.

1975 Pictorials - Part Four.   Flaws & errors found in the 10c Queen Elizabeth.

1975 Pictorials - Part Five.   Flaws & errors found in the higher values.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

1975 Definitives / Pictorials - Part Four.

 Definitive Tour.
Back to 1970 Pictorial Definitives.                                Forward to 1980 - 1981 Definitives.

1977 10c Queen Elizabeth II & 1979 14c Overprint.

       This post is was originally published as a separate post but we have decided include it where it should be, in this series on the 1975 Pictorials. While we repeat some of the information included in Part Two, we've decided to leave this page as close as possible to the one we originally published.

       This something a bit different. Instead of featuring a set or series of stamps I am going to be looking at only one stamp and an overprint added two years later. So first, lets me introduce you to our stamp. There she is to the right - the '1977 10c QE II.' 

        Intended as an addition to the 1975 Definitives, the 10c depicting Queen Elizabeth II, was issued in 1977 to meet a demand cause by a change in postal rates. Valued at the new letter postage rate of 10c meant this was a very common and well used stamp. In 1979 another change in postal rates meant the 10c value was no longer required for ordinary letters so the stamp was overprint with two solid bars over the old value and a new value of "14c." This type of stamp is commonly known as a Provisional. There is the younger sister to the left 1979 14c QE II overprint.

       So that is the basic story of this stamp. One design and a value overprint two years later. Since both these stamps were commonly used, large numbers printed and further reprints required. What makes this stamp so interesting is the large number of printing errors which can be found in both the original stamp and in her provisional sister.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

1975 Pictorials / Definitives - Part Three

 Definitive Tour.
Back to 1970 Pictorial Definitives.                                Forward to 1980 - 1981 Definitives.

Errors in the Roses (Low values).

         This post will be one of three posts on the flaws found in the 1975 Pictorial / Definitive issue. On this page we will be looking at the nine lower value stamps. In my next post I will look at flaws found in the 10c Queen Elizabeth the in my third post I will feature errors in the high values.
          Finding good images of stamp errors can be a problem, but when we come to dealing with image sizes we get into some real problems. Its been decided that in this blog, keeping stamps to scale is not as important as displaying them to their best advantage.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Antarctica Post - Page One

        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 smaller, 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 on this Blog.'

Our collection of Antarctica Post stamps has continued to grow until now the decision has been made to establish the second page.     
Go Forward to Antarctica Post - Page Two.    (Issues 2010 - Today)

Friday, 20 May 2016

1975 Pictorials / Definitives - Part Two

Definitive Tour.
Back to 1970 Pictorial Definitives.                                Forward to 1980 - 1981 Definitives.

The Designs.
        The lower values of the 1975 Pictorial / Definitives were nine stamps featuring roses grown in New Zealand. To capture the beauty of each rose, a larger almost square format was used. While creating an impressive set of stamps, this led to problems with vending machines. At first the older 1970 stamps were used but by 1977 as postage rates continued to rise new values were created by overprinting these older stamps. (1970 Definitive / Pictorials - Part One.) Finally in 1978 a new set of four values were issued especially for use in vending machines.
       In 1976 a four value issue of Maori artifacts was added, then in 1977 came the 10c Queen Elizabeth II, with the high value seashells following in 1978 & 1979. In 1981 the $5 Beehive was issued. There is some debate among us writers on whether this last stamp should be included in this series of issues.   

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

1975 Pictorials / Definitives - Part One.

 Definitive Tour.
Back to 1970 Pictorial Definitives.                                Forward to 1980 - 1981 Definitives.

A Brief History of this Issue.
By 1975 New Zealand ready for a new series of definitive stamps. The 1970 Definitives had used the practice of issuing the stamps over series of issues.

The 1975 Definitives took this even further to become a series of almost unrelated issues over a number of years. This is the last big definitive set so will be the last time we do a large series of pages on one particular definitive issue. The 1975 Definitive issue is usually listed together in many stamp catalogues but I notice NZ Post list them on their web site as separate issues. From now on definitive issues will be treated like other stamp issues being listed in this blog by their issue date.

This series began in 1975 once again began with the lower values, this time a set of nine values with a common theme of roses. It would be 1976 before the next issue of three values, Maori Artifacts would be issued. 1977 saw the series go back to pick up the 10c Queen Elizabeth before continuing on with the higher value seashells in 1978 & 1979. Along the way there were some provisional overprints and special issues for stamp vending machines that we have also included on this page.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

1968 - Tarapex 69 Capt. Cook Labels


          The organizing committee of the Tarapex 69 Stamp Exhibition decided to issue a miniature sheet of four labels for promotion of the exhibition and fund raising. The theme of three of these labels was Captain Cook since 1969 was going to be the Bi-centenary of Cook discovering New Zealand.

         This post is a small collection of this miniature sheet showing the exhibition cancels and some printing errors. There are also other covers and items related to both Tarapex '69 and Tarapex '86. While some might consider exhibition labels to be outside the field of postage stamps, it has been the policy of this blog to explore other areas of postal history as well. In saying this, we consider that labels that accompany postage stamps on a cover, must be well within the scope of this blog.

       You will notice that these labels did not carry any postal value. They were only used to promote the exhibition and raise funding through souvenirs. The later issue for Tarapex '86 did carry a postal value.