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.        

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Famous Maori on Stamps

      For those who have accidently stumbled upon this page, this is a sub-index for our New Zealand Maori Index. It is our intention that it will soon become buried in this blog and only be accessed via the Maori Index.

Famous Maori People on Stamps.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

2016 Matariki - Kete

         In the Māori language Matariki is the name of the Pleiades star cluster, in the constellation of Taurus the Bull. 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.

         I have been looking in the eastern sky just before dawn hoping to spot Matariki but this will prove difficult since I live near the western side of the large city of Auckland. But if you look for it later in the year, first find Orion the Great Hunter also called The Pot by some in New Zealand. Those three stars that make up his belt are very distinctive. Then move your attention ahead of Orion towards the west. The Pleiades will appear as a small group of seven stars very close together but if you use binoculars or a small telescope many more stars can be seen in this spectacular star cluster. 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

1977 Anniversaries

         Most of the stamps featured in this blog are mint (unused) so this time I've decided to do something different. Everything on this page except some of the errors are used stamps. So we can still enjoy the designs on the stamp themselves I have purposely selected examples with lighter cancels.

          In 1977 the annual Anniversary Issue featured 5 stamps. In this case the coat of arms of each organisation took centre place in the designs. In the case of the AA (10c value) I'm not sure that could be called a coat of arms as it is rather more like an emblem.  
         The 3 x 8c stamps were printed se tenant on one sheet while the 2 x 10c stamps were printed together on a second sheet. This gave us the two strips as seen above and on the First Day Cover further down.