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.

The Stamps.

$1.00 - The loss of HMS Neptune.
On 19 December 1941 the cruiser HMS Neptune was lost in an enemy minefield off the North African coast. 757 officers and ratings lost their lives, with Able Seaman John Norman Walton being the sole survivor. Amongst those lost were 150 New Zealanders who had joined the ship in preparation for its transfer to the RNZN, including the 19-year-old twins Bruce and William Anderson of Kohimarama, featured on this stamp. The sinking of Neptune led to the greatest loss of life ever suffered by the RNZN in a single action or incident.

$1.00 - Conflict in Korea.
During the Korean War six RNZN frigates, HMNZS Rotoiti, Pukaki (pictured on this stamp), Hawea, Taupo, Kaniere and Tutira, were deployed to the UN naval forces operating off Korea. Two frigates were kept on station at all times. From shore bombardments to escort work, the frigates helped the land forces and secured the seas. Approximately 1,350 officers and ratings served and in their eight tours of duty the New Zealand ships steamed a total of 339,584 miles and fired 71,625 rounds of ammunition in action. The deployment ran from July 1950 to March 1954.

$1.80 - Women at sea.
In order to free men from shore-based tasks, women first entered the RNZN in 1942 with the formation of the WRNZNS. The Wrens made a critical contribution in the fields of signalling and intelligence and were also employed as drivers, boat crews and watchkeepers at headquarters ashore. 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of women first being posted to a seagoing ship, HMNZS Monowai. By the mid-1990s women were serving alongside men at sea on all our ships. Today women make up 22 percent of naval personnel, can serve in any trade and are critical to the ongoing success of the Navy.

$2.20 - Supporting the United Nations.
Since the 1960s the RNZN has supported the UN by sending ships and personnel on peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations. Our ships assisted in East Timor in 1999 and our frigates, HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana (featured on this stamp during her 2004 deployment), have operated with multinational naval forces in the Indian Ocean region, conducting counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and anti-piracy operations. Te Kaha conducted a successful maritime security patrol in 2015, intercepting several drug smugglers and seizing more than 260 kilogrammes of heroin.

$2.70 - Disaster relief in Christchurch.
The RNZN plays a significant role in humanitarian aid and disaster relief and responded swiftly to the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. When the February 2011 earthquake struck, HMNZS Canterbury, Otago and Pukaki immediately rendered assistance, providing emergency food and shelter. Canterbury later carried emergency supplies to Lyttelton, while HMNZS Resolution carried out hydrographic survey operations in Akaroa and Lyttelton Harbours. Canterbury has also undertaken relief operations throughout the Pacific following natural disasters.

$3.30 - The Navy family.
People come from all over New Zealand to serve in the RNZN, and the Navy’s core values of Courage, Commitment and Comradeship are instilled in recruits from the first day of service. Comradeship demands that members of the RNZN work together as an effective team, as they serve at the naval base and abroad for long periods of time. Their families who remain at home form an important part of the Navy’s wider whānau; without their ongoing support, the Navy wouldn’t be able to advance New Zealand’s interests at sea.

Other Collector Items.
First Day Cover.
The first-day cover features a photo of HMNZS Endeavour I at McMurdo Sound in January 1957, as part of the Navy support for New Zealand's Antarctica Program.

 Miniature Sheet and MS First Day Cover.
Naval Patrol Operations.

Set of Plate Blocks.

Set of Value Blocks.

Set of Full Sheets.

Technical information

Date of issue:
5 October 2016
Number of stamps:
Six gummed
$1.00 (x2), $1.80, $2.20, $2.70, $3.30
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by:
Helcia Knap, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process:
Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours:
CMYK + spot UV and metallic
Stamp size and format:
50mm x 32.86mm
Paper type:
Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet:
Perforation gauge:
14.4 x 14
Special blocks:
Maybe obtained by purchasing at least six sheet stamps. Barcode blocks are available in A and B formats.
Period of sale:
Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 4 October 2017. First-day covers will remain on sale until 4 December 2016.

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