Thursday, 28 December 2017

2017 Platinum Wedding Anniversary

New Zealand Post has created this special commemorative stamp issue to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s platinum wedding anniversary. Over their 70 years of marriage, they have achieved many remarkable milestones, of which family feature prominently. The stamps capture some of these magical moments.

While the Queen and Prince Philip were engaged in 1946, their engagement was not formally announced to the world until the following year – 10 July 1947 – when Elizabeth turned 21.
On Thursday 20 November 1947, the royal couple were married in Westminster Abbey. Despite all their royal responsibilities, some of the most significant moments in their lives are family occasions. The births of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are sure to have been among the highlights. The fourth generation of the royal family continues to grow, with another great-grandchild expected in the first half of 2018.
Together, the Queen and Prince Philip have broken many records. She is the longest-serving – and longest-living - sovereign in New Zealand’s history, and the first to visit this country while reigning. He is the longest-serving consort and the longest-lived male member of the royal family. They are the first royal couple to see three generations of successors to the throne. No other members of the royal family have ever celebrated a platinum wedding anniversary, which makes this a very rare and remarkable milestone by any standard.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

1900 Boer War Thematic Collection.

1½d - Boer War Commemorative. 

A new penny halfpenny stamp was introduced to cover a change in postage rates for printed matter. It commemorated the departure of the first contingents of New Zealand troops to the Boer War in South Africa and symbolised the prompt response of New Zealand to the call of the Empire for troops. A total of 6,500 New Zealand troops took part. Rather ironically, the stamp was the first to be engraved outside the British Empire, in New York.

A Collection of Postal Cancels on this 1900 stamp.
While Allan was searching for good examples of this stamp for another post, 1900 Boer War, he came across a small collection of 11 used stamps, cancelled in 11 different post offices. Since then we have found and added more readable post cancellations until now, we have a collection of over 60 items. This collection became so large that the decision was made to split it onto its own blog page. 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

1994 Adventure Tourism

        The magnificent New Zealand scenery is a major drawcard for tourists from every corner of the world, quickly and comfortably accessible and completely unspoiled. But that is not all. Excitement, thrills and fun are also provided to go with our stunning scenery. Be it a hike through our abundant bush, a hair-raising ride through treacherous whitewater aboard a raft, fishing our lakes and rivers for trout or plunging headlong into gullies attached to a bungy rope - there is an outdoor adventure for all tastes and ages. In this Tourism issue, the uniqueness of a holiday in New Zealand was captured. The fresh, clean design of the stamps reflect the land with its abundance of crystal clear lakes and streams, magnificent mountains and dramatic landforms.
What better way to start this post than an excellent used example of the 45c White Water Rafting - from the Booklet. 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

2006/2018 Year of the Dog.

2018  The Year of the Dog.

Chinese New Year celebrations begin 16 February 2018, and according to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, this year is the Year of the Dog. New Zealand Post has created a special stamp, gold-sheet and medallion issue to celebrate this important Chinese event.
People born in this year tend to have decisive, loyal and loving personality traits which can make them fierce and long-lasting friends. But, because they have quite cautious characteristics, they can take time to form these bonds and can be easily distressed if trust is broken.
The Stamps.
$1.00 - Calligraphy.
The Chinese New Year celebration is dominated by the traditional Chinese colour, red. It reflects a positive, warm, and peaceful atmosphere. Calligraphy is another traditional Chinese New Year element used for household scrolls and art exhibitions. Here, the cloud pattern is a metaphor for good luck in Chinese and ‘the land of the long white cloud’ New Zealand.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

2017 Royalpex National Stamp Exhibition

         Royalpex 2017, (24th - 26th November) was held in Hamilton this year and attracted stamp collectors and dealers from around the country. The national stamp exhibition showed works and collections from around the country. Sometimes known as a ‘half national’ due to it having less classes available than a typical national exhibition.

        The event was ran by the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand and was proudly sponsored by New Zealand Post. As an official sponsor, New Zealand Post had a central stand at the exhibition for those wishing to purchase stamps and coins, or arrange for the special daily cancellations to be applied to mail items.
       It was an impressive event, well worth the trip down from Auckland. It was the first time all five writers of this blog attended a stamp exhibition together. We stayed at a farm near Cambridge, driving up to the exhibition each day.

Special Exhibition Collectables.
In honour of the city this year’s show was held on Hamilton. New Zealand Post created two unique products featuring imagery of Hamilton in the background. The miniature sheet features the idyllic Waikato river and three stamps from the popular 2017 Recovering Native Birds issue. The First day cover shows an aerial shot of the city as it stretches away in the distance.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

1993 Women's Vote

Women being allowed the right to vote was a monumental change in New Zealand’s history. It was a change that was controversial at the time but went on to lead New Zealand into a much brighter future. What is also important to recognise is that New Zealand was a world leader in social change, one of the first countries to give women the right to vote.
This issue marked 100 years since women received voting rights in New Zealand.
NZ Suffrage on Stamps - A Thematic Collection. 

45c - The First Vote - 1893.
In 1893 nearly one in every four New Zealand women signed a petition urging Parliament to recognise their right to vote. In September that year, New Zealand women became the first in the world to be granted voting rights in general elections.

Friday, 8 December 2017

1993 Dinosaurs

The name 'dinosaur' originates from a combination of two Greek words: 'deinos' meaning terrible and 'sauros' meaning lizard. It is these 'terrible lizards' - in particular those that once walked on New Zealand soil - that are the subject of this stamp issue.
For 165 million years dinosaurs ruled the earth with unparalleled strength and power. To date, some 500 types of dinosaur have been identified, but this is believed to be only a fraction of the species that actually existed. They came in all shapes and sizes (some were as small as chickens, while some were as tall as five-storey buildings) and they displayed a wide range of social behaviour patterns (some were gentle in nature and ate plant life, while others were violent and threatening, and ate those that ate the plant life!). 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

1993 Royal Doulton Ceramics Exhibition

This issue commemorated the 1992 - 1993 CourierPost Royal Doulton Ceramics Exhibition in New Zealand. The exhibition included over 750 items with over four-fifths of the items displayed coming from family collections in New Zealand. The Royal Doulton Company is one of the most renowned English companies producing tableware and collectables, with a history dating back to 1815. In 1901 King Edward VII granted the Burslem factory the Royal Warrant, which allowed the business to adopt new markings and use the Royal Doulton name.

This is an issue that neither Allan or I knew much about. Sure, I have a set in my collection with their captions underneath but that was as far as I'd ever gone. Now when we came to feature these on their own page we spent a long time trying to find suitable images. The problem is that blue block down the left-hand side of each stamp. It is so dark that the value and other information is almost impossible to see. The real stamps look slightly better but they certainly do not photograph well.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

1996 Maori Crafts

        The first Māori people brought their art and crafts with them from their ancient homeland in Polynesia when they migrated to New Zealand more than 1000 years ago. In their new, remote home in the South Pacific, away from outside influences and with different materials, they developed these craft over successive generations. Wood carving was the primary art form but it was just one of the Māori's cultural accomplishments. Māori art ranged from carving meeting houses and other buildings, war canoes and weapons - to creating clothing and personal ornaments such as burial chests, musical instruments, treasure boxes, marvellous cloaks and skirts.

        Almost nothing that the Māori made was without decoration of some sort. They used a wide variety of materials, from readily available and workable timber, flax, bone and whale-bone ivory to the less tractable greenstone, argillite and basalt. They practised and experimented with a range of styles from formalisation through impressionism to the near-abstract. Generally speaking, Māori art was and still is, largely a question of shape and design rather than colour. Traditional Māori arts flourish today although new materials, tools and international influences have introduced an added new dimension to traditional design.

For other issues on Maori see our Maori Page & Index.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

2001 Garden Flowers

          New Zealanders love their gardens, and to celebrate one of our favourite pastimes New Zealand Post created a series of stamps featuring six flowers that were bred locally. Three were local and international award winners – one named specifically for the International Year of Volunteers, one being the first in the world to produce this colour combination, and one for being the first yellow perennial petunia in the world.
          I love bright flowers and have planted many so I can grow them myself. I think to see some flowers as you walk past lightens the soul too. I have vegetables growing in the big garden and around the house are little gardens where I keep my flower plants. I went into the garden shop and asked the man for plants of many colours and all seasons. This is what I have and can enjoy. I try to spend some time each week, weeding, tending and caring for them.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee

        2012 marked a significant year for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as she celebrated 60 years as a dedicated monarch. New Zealand Post was proud to present the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee stamps to mark this prestigious anniversary. Official portraits (70c stamps) of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh wearing their New Zealand honours have been released to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

A used copy of the $2.40 stamp.

        The 60th anniversary of a monarch’s accession is known as a ‘Diamond Jubilee’, and it is certainly an occasion worth celebrating. Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee is only the second in the past 1,000 years of New Zealand and British history. The first was Queen Victoria's in 1897. Queen Elizabeth II’s coincided with Waitangi Day on 6 February 2012.
        Queen Elizabeth II has close links to New Zealand and is the first monarch to adopt the title Queen of New Zealand. She has visited New Zealand on ten separate occasions, both officially and informally, and in the past six decades she had been actively involved in all aspects of New Zealand life.
         Featuring silver foiling on metallic silver ink, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee stamps reflected this prestigious anniversary. Each of the six stamps in this highly collectable stamp issue reflected Her Majesty's close association with a dedication to Aotearoa. From the official 2012 portraits to photographs of the Queen's various tours of New Zealand, this was a stamp issue worth celebrating.
        This stamp issue wouldn't be complete without a miniature sheet and first-day covers. The first-day covers featured the official New Zealand portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as the official New Zealand Diamond Jubilee emblem. They were the perfect accompaniments to the set of stamps.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Government Life Insurance - Summary.

Asami here.  (Nov 2017)
           As part of the current building of many parts of this blog, this summary of the Lighthouse Life Insurance series has been moved from its page in the top bar to a normal post. This means it can be now be found via our labels in the sidebar or via the Index/Groups of Posts page.

Hi, Asami here.  (Feb 2015)
           For my next project, I will be doing this job for Mary. Currently, she is doing a series on the stamps issued by the Government Life Insurance Department/Office. I have been asked to lay out a page of all the lighthouse issues, with links to and from each issue. At the same time, I will be adding forward and back navigation links so you can move between the various posts/issues.

Here is Mary's opening to her first Lighthouse post:-
         The New Zealand Government Life Insurance Department was opened in 1869 and started issuing its own stamps in 1891.  Up until that time The Insurance Office, in common with other Government services, had enjoyed franking privileges, paying an annual amount to the Post and Telegraph Department to cover the cost of postage on its correspondence. 
         The decision to issue the stamps was the result of a dispute between the two Departments regarding the calculation of postage costs. The matter was referred to an arbitrator but the Insurance Department insisted on paying future postage costs by the purchase of postage stamps. 
         To ensure that these stamps were only used for their intended purpose, they had to have a very distinctive design. Since the symbol of the Insurance Department was a lighthouse, all Government Life Insurance Department stamp designs have featured lighthouses. So actually this was more like a personalised stamp, being printed and issued by the Post Office but only used by the Insurance Office.

Friday, 10 November 2017

2000 Kiwiana II Booklet

Kiwiana II Mint Set.

In 1994 New Zealand Post issued the first Kiwiana stamp series – a light-hearted tribute to the foods, toys, sports and lifestyles that define New Zealand’s culture and attitude and set us apart from the rest of the world. From fish and chips to gumboots, these stamps enabled us to laugh at ourselves while appreciating and celebrating our special identity.
Kiwiana II was the sequel to this popular issue, featuring 10 more characteristics of everyday New Zealand life. It saluted the versatile li-lo, a pair of cosy ug boots, the gastronomic delights of the chocolate fish, the hot dog, the meat pie and the Anzac biscuit; and our summer necessities, the barbecue, the chilly bin, pipis (a seafood delicacy) and the classic Kiwi holiday home, the bach or crib.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

1994 Kiwiana I Booklet

During the Second World War, nicknames were very popular, not only for individuals but also for the different forces taking part in the struggle. New Zealand's armed forces were differentiated from other forces such as Yanks, Poms and Boks etc by the name of New Zealand's famous flightless bird - the kiwi. The nickname stuck and the friendly appellation, "Kiwi", is still used all over the world when referring to people from New Zealand. From that nickname has come another word - Kiwiana - to describe those, sometimes, almost intangible things that contribute to the character and culture of New Zealand.

1994 Kiwiana I Booklet - Mint Example.

Food and attire immediately spring to mind when thinking about our most memorable pieces of Kiwiana. With the exception of the much-loved and admired Buzzy Bee, every stamp in this, light-hearted Kiwiana stamp issue featured New Zealand 'cuisine' or clothing. From fish and chips to pavlova, from a bush shirt to jandals, every item is a genuine part of our culture.

A se-tenant block of 10 x 45c stamps was issued as a stamp booklet featuring pavlova, pāua shell, hokey pokey ice cream, fish and chips, jandals, rugby boots and a rugby ball, bush shirt, black singlet and gumboots, Buzzy Bee and kiwifruit.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

1993 Fastpost Booklet.

This issue relates to and could be considered part of the 1985 - 93 Bird Definitives. In fact, it was included in our post on that issue.
In 1993 there was a reissue of the 80c value, this time depicting the New Zealand Falcon. The purpose of this issue was booklets for Fastpost.  

The original Perf 14½ x 14 issued in 1993 was reissued in 1994 as a perf 12 variety. This variety was found only in booklet formats.  In 1995 another second variety appeared where one side of the stamp was imperforate on either the left or right sides - whichever edge was closest to the edge of the booklet. This should not be considered a flaw as it was intended to be issued like this which is why I have called it the second variety. First Day Covers were not issued for either of these two varieties.

New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) - 80c

Monday, 6 November 2017

2002 Holiday Hideaways

       Whether you call it a 'bach' or a 'crib', for New Zealanders the very word conjures emotions and images suffused with warm, affectionate nostalgia. Long summers at the beach with family, swimming, fishing or relaxing with a book. 
       Our bach was out on the West Coast. Funny little place, not much room inside but with a covered deck out-back overlooking the beach. It didn't even have a lock on the door for many years. Nobody was going to take anything, just borrow if they needed it. The famous prison escaper George Wilder stayed there a couple of nights when he was on the run. Left us a nice note to say sorry about the food. No one really minded.
        Even when it rained there was still fun things to do. Card games, board games and picture puzzles. There was never a TV. Who would ever put a TV into a bach? Get the kids outside having fun, that was the way of the bach. The kids loved it, we loved it and we have some great memories of that place. 
         Sadly when my husband had his accident it had to go. Brought by a property developer who made us an offer we couldn't refuse. If only we'd waited six months longer. It would still be there today with us still the owners. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

2017 Te Reo Maori - Maori Language.

       Now, this issue went in a direction I did not expect. Recently I did a post on te reo Maori (Maori Language) 1995 Maori Language. In that post, we looked at six different ways te reo Maori was used, all of which were more formal or traditional. Another post I did earlier this year was on the 2011 Kapa Haka issue. While this stamp issue featured Maori performing arts, te reo Maori is an important part of that. Both issues are well worth a look and along with all my other posts on Maori subjects can be found via our New Zealand Maori index.
       We live in a changing world, English, my mother tongue, is changing to be used in different ways with new words coming into general use all the time. In the same way, if te reo Maori is to remain relevant, it needs to change and evolve to deal with a modern and changing world. 

       Which brings us to this issue. 10 stamps showing te reo Maori being used in ways that would not have been imagined only a few years ago. In this issue, the examples have mainly come from computers and electronic communications. Notice how many of these new words are descriptive in nature. This is consistent with te reo Maori where many traditional words were descriptions of objects or ideas too. I've followed with the captions the NZ Post used as they explain each stamp better than I could but while doing this post I've come to view te reo Maori in a different and more positive way.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

2017 Grow Your Own / Sustainable New Zealand

          It was becoming clear that neither of our main blog writers was interested in this set so someone had to do a post for it. I kind of like the issue and understand the reasons behind it too. I can see the idea of getting people, particularly children, out into the garden growing things. In this case, vegetables that are easy to grow but will make a healthy choice to many meals. I can also see NZ Post, a company facing declining sales due to fierce competition from the internet, looking for ways they can generate interest in their products. So I took up this issue and ran with it.

      Domestic Version. (Seeds)                                   International Version (Non-Seeds)

Friday, 27 October 2017

2017 Christmas

        We often have visitors from Asia staying with us over the Christmas period. For them, a traditional Christmas is often something different, a new experience. So we go all out to celebrate it. 
        First off, the Christmas tree. I get our visitors into the car to head off to the Christmas tree farm. Of course, there is that tired old joke about having to run fast to catch them. "Especially the little Christmas trees, really fast ones," I tease them. Yes, I always get those confused looks too. "What's he going on about." 
        We drive up through the farm to the area they are harvesting and are met by a guy with a saw. I let my guests wander through the trees looking for that special one, the one with that perfect cone shape. Then the guys will cut it and we are on our way home. The next step is setting it up. Out comes the plastic bucket and some bricks to go in the bottom. Selected bits of firewood work well to wedge the tree into position and we can pour in the water. 
        Some Christmas wrapping paper is fitted around to hide the plastic bucket and then we are ready to start the decorations. Out come the boxes of lights and other things to hang on the tree and I stand back allowing our guests to do all the work. Finally, all the lights in the room are turned off and we switch on the tree lights. Coloured lights, shining and flashing among the other decorations on the tree.

       This stamp issue is about the traditional decorations used on Christmas Trees. There are eight stamps in all, five gummed stamps and three repeated in self-adhesive format. The purpose, stamps for people to place on their Christmas mail, both locally and overseas. The annual Christmas issue always goes on sale earlier enough for mail to reach its destination anywhere in the world before Christmas Day.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

2001 Art From Nature

NZ Post describes this issue: - 
    This series of stamps celebrated the use of our natural resources – from Greenstone to Oamaru Stone, Paua, Kauri, Flax and Ferns. These materials are strongly connected to our national identity and have been used by New Zealanders to create items of enduring beauty and versatility. Each stamp tells the visual story of the raw material brought to life as a piece of art. The designs of the art and the colour schemes also reflect our national character.

Monday, 23 October 2017

1931 Health - Smiling Boys.

Red Boy & Blue Boy.
I'm not as experienced with collecting postage stamps having just recently started a collection on thematic New Zealand Farming stamps. In fact, there is an early post in this blog where in the comments I refer to one of the rarest stamps of New Zealand as a scruffy bit of paper. LOL But things change, we learn and grow so now I write some of the easier posts here. I wanted to try something harder and so Allan suggested I try this one.
First I just copied what Allan had written on them in the Main Health Stamp collection, found in this link 1931 Health Issue, then I continued to build on his work with more items, more researched details and my own ideas. This page is the result. Hope you find something of interest.   (Anne)

1931 Red Boy - 1d + 1d.                                    1931 Blue Boy - 2d + 1d.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

2009 Auckland Harbour Bridge 50th Anniversary

        For many of us, it’s been there as long as we can remember – but when it was opened in 1959, the Auckland Harbour Bridge was one of the most significant infrastructure projects New Zealand had ever undertaken. Soaring over the waters of Waitemata Harbour, it provided a much-needed link between the North Shore and Auckland City – with long-term benefits for residents, businesses and New Zealand as a whole.
       Fifty years since its opening, Auckland Harbour Bridge is an icon of New Zealand’s landscape. The Auckland Harbour Bridge is an icon of New Zealand’s landscape. Replacing a 40-kilometre drive or a cross-harbour ferry ride, it’s been key to growth in the region – transforming North Shore’s seaside villages and rural communities into a thriving city, and opening Auckland City and points north and south to previously unimaginable opportunities for expansion and development.

A used copy of $2.00.

        The Auckland Harbour Bridge is an eight-lane box truss motorway bridge over the Waitemata Harbour, joining Saint Mary's Bay in Auckland with Northcote in North Shore City. The bridge is part of State Highway 1 and is the second-longest road bridge in New Zealand. The main span is 43 meters above high tide to allow ships free access to the deepwater wharf at the Chelsea Sugar Refinery.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

1993 Sealife Booklet

        This cleverly designed booklet shows the wealth of life and colour that can be found in New Zealand waters. The 10-stamp sheet makes up a panoramic view of the ocean, and each 45c stamp was cleverly designed to stand alone with its own individual subject. Many of New Zealand's major seafood industry export earners were represented in the design.

Above: - Inside the booklet.
Below: - The cover.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

1992 Camellias

        It is little wonder that camellias are amongst the most popular plants to be found in New Zealand gardens. Superb, long-lasting flowers in a profusion of form and colour, from white through to red and every imaginable shade and combination between, are borne on an easily grown, shrub-like evergreen with thick glossy leaves. In addition, camellias bloom over a lengthy period in autumn and winter when other flowers are scarce. Some hybrids even flower into summer.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

1992 Navigators

        The Navigators issue recognised the voyages of Abel Tasman and Christopher Columbus, two of history's foremost explorers and navigators. The issue marked the 350th anniversary of the sighting of New Zealand by Tasman and the 500th anniversary of Columbus' sighting of the Americas. Although 150 years apart, the two landmark oceanic expeditions have much in common:

        Both explorers set out in small wooden boats, using unreliable methods of navigation in search of new lands and new trading partners. Overcrowded and unhygienic conditions, long monotonous months at sea, poor diets and harsh punishments made life a mental and physical ordeal for Tasman's and Columbus' crews alike. Most interestingly both men misconstrued their own discoveries. When Columbus first sighted the Bahamas in 1492, he thought he had reached China, while in 1642 Tasman wrongly identified the west coast of New Zealand as part of the unknown southern continent.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

2017 Ross Dependency - Historic Huts.

Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton have had their names and their achievements forever immortalised in history. The heroic feats of both of these men helped to pave the way for future exploration and study of the icy continent in the Geographic South Pole. The huts left behind from their various explorations have now been taken into the care of the Antarctic Heritage Trust. A plan was made to restore and conserve the individual huts, each one needed weatherproofing and repairs of some sort. Terra Nova, the largest of the three huts took seven years to be fully repaired, and all of its 11,000 artefacts conserved.

Friday, 8 September 2017

2010 Ross Dependency - Whales of the Southern Ocean.

I like whales, watching them on TV, seeing how beautiful, almost graceful as they move through the water. It is hard to imagine that creatures that large could move like that. Once, during one of our regular trips to visit family in the South Island, we did a whale watching boat trip. This was from Kaikoura, before the earthquakes when whale watching was a big tourist attraction. I was surprised how many we saw and how they allowed the tourist boat to venture so close. Watching these large animals as they slowly moved was the highlight of that trip.

         'Whales' is the name given to the group of carnivorous marine mammals that spend their entire lives in the sea (or sometimes rivers). There are two groups of modern whale: the filter-feeding baleen whales, and the echo-locating toothed whales.
         Three families of baleen whale are represented in the Southern Ocean (rorqual, right whale and pygmy right whale), and five families of toothed whale (sperm whale, diminutive sperm whale, beaked whale, dolphin and porpoise).  These fascinating mammals are the focus of the Ross Dependency 2010 stamp issue. Consisting of five large stamps (50mm x 30mm) and a range of collectable stamp products, it’s an issue that’s sure to impress.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

2007 50th Anniversary Scott Base.

       Officially opened on 20 January 1957, Scott Base is New Zealand’s permanent research support station in Antarctica. It was originally designed to last just a year or two, but its enormous value as a centre for scientific research has seen it grow and flourish.

The five stamps.

Monday, 4 September 2017

1990 New Zealand World Stamp Exhibition Native Orchids

        Orchids are usually associated with the steamy heat of the tropics or the rarefied atmosphere of the professional's greenhouse, but these flowers are different. These are some of New Zealand's own native orchids. Blooming mostly in the summer months, native orchids make themselves known to the watchful field or bush walker in any of New Zealand's islands.
       The miniature sheet was issued in April 1990 in support of the New Zealand 1990 World Stamp Exhibition held in Auckland.
       An imperforate version of approx 12,000 sheets was also produced only being able to be purchased with tickets to the Stamp Exhibition - the official day of issue of this version of the sheet was 23 July 1990.

Exhibition Miniature Sheet with four 40 cents and one 80 cent stamp (Surcharged to support exhibition) New Zealand 1990 World Stamp Exhibition Auckland.
The Miniature Sheet features: 40c - Thelymitra pulchella (sun orchid); 40c - Corybas macranthus (spider orchid); 
40c - Dendrobium cunninghamii (winika orchid); 40c - Pterostylis banksii (greenhood orchid); 
80c - Aporostylis bifolia (odd-leaved orchid).

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

1994 $20 Mount Cook Definitive.

Definitives Tour.
Back to 1991 Butterfly Definitives.                              Forward to 1995 - 1997 Scenic Definitives.

       This is New Zealand's largest and highest valued stamp. It is also one of the most controversial as many stamp collectors believe that rather than responding to a demand for a high-value postage stamp for documents and parcels, the stamp was a ploy to fleece collectors.

Two used examples - the right-hand from a first-day cover.

         Of course, NZ Post says it quite differently. "In response to demand for a high-value postage stamp for documents and parcels, New Zealand Post issued its first ever $20 Definitive Stamp. It is one of the most complex stamp productions ever commissioned by New Zealand Post - its design is a masterpiece in montage and it captures some of New Zealand's most treasured heritage. With such an elaborate design, hidden security features, and an extremely complex production and printing method, this magnificent new stamp is truly reflective of its high face value - both here and as an ambassador on overseas parcels."

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

1988 Centenary Philatelic Society of New Zealand

        During the 1880s New Zealand stamps were few and far between - only a handful, all bearing the portrait of Queen Victoria, had been issued. On 5 September 1888, four collectors met to discuss their hobby; the outcome of the meeting was the Philatelic Society of New Zealand, the nation's first organised stamp collectors' group.
        Today the Society, now the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand, is far bigger, one of the leading philatelic societies in the country and is affiliated to the country's national philatelic body, the New Zealand Philatelic Federation.
        To mark 100 years of organised philately in New Zealand, the Society organised the "Royal 100" national philatelic exhibition, held in Wellington in October 1988.

New Zealand Post issued two stamps marking this 100 year period. Queen Elizabeth II is set against a background showing stamps from the 1882 Second Side-Faced Issue, each with the portrait of Queen Victoria.

Monday, 21 August 2017

2009 Ross Dependency - 50th Anniversary Antarctic Treaty

The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively known as the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. The treaty, entering into force in 1961 and having 53 parties as of 2016, sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on that continent. The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters have been located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since September 2004.

         The main treaty was opened for signature on December 1, 1959, and officially entered into force on June 23, 1961. The original signatories were the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58. The twelve countries that had significant interests in Antarctica at the time were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries had established over 50 Antarctic stations for the IGY. The treaty was a diplomatic expression of the operational and scientific cooperation that had been achieved "on the ice".

Saturday, 19 August 2017

2017 America's Cup

        In our house, we have a lot of passion about sport, particularly when New Zealand is competing overseas. We love to see New Zealand winning, jumping out of our seats and cheering as they do. As can be expected, we quickly caught 'Americas Cup Fever' and were closely following each race. I just loved those boats, (or were they low flying aircraft), the way the foiled across the water. Would love to ride in one. Would be an amazing experience.
        Now before the owner of this blog gets on my case I better mention something about stamps. Yes, Allan, I did notice the six stamps on this miniature sheet. There is not much more we can say about the stamps other than that they show the Team NZ boat in action. The main photo in the centre shows the presentation for the cup to our team.

The America's Cup sheet, with six $2.70 stamps, was issued on the 3rd of July 2017. No first-day covers were produced.

Friday, 18 August 2017

2017 Recovering Native Birds.

         New Zealand’s native birds have a unique history in terms of how and why they adapted into the mostly flightless species we are so well acquainted with today. A predominant lack of mammalian predators in the early days of their evolution meant that many species began to grow larger and lost the ability to fly. With the main predator being other birds, many native species also evolved without the instinct to run from trouble.

         This posed a huge problem when the arrival of humans brought with it the arrival of mammalian predators such as rats, cats and stoats, all of which still pose a threat to our native species today.

         This stamp issue focuses on five native bird species that have been brought back from the brink of extinction thanks to the hard work of agencies such as the Wildlife Service and the Department of Conservation. Their great work has seen them go on to become world leaders in bird conservation. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Thursday, 10 August 2017


Hi, Asami here.
Forgeries:- They are around and those without experience can get caught. These images were sent to us from one of our readers. He purchased them and he wishes we will display them as a warning to others. I have been asked to do a page on them as others are busy on other projects.

        The story is that a comment was left on our page 1949 - 1952 Cancelled Royal Visits. The reader said he had discovered these stamps in a collection book and he was trying to establish if they were real or forgeries. 

       1949 Royal Visit.

Friday, 4 August 2017

2008 Ross Dependency - 100th Anniversary British Antarctic Expedition

Each year the Ross Dependency issues a set of stamps, used for postage but also aimed at the collector market. The subjects shown either relate to the history, scenery or wild life of the dependency.

The 2008 Ross Dependency stamp issue marked the 100th anniversary of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907 - 1909. The issue consisted of five values showing scenes from various stages of the expedition. In this post, the stamps have been arranged as how they fit into the story, rather than by value as we usually do. They can be seen arranged by value in the strip above.

The British Antarctic Expedition 1907 - 1909, also known as the Nimrod Expedition, was the first of three expeditions to the Antarctic led by Ernest Shackleton. It was financed without governmental or institutional support and relied on private loans and individual contributions. Its ship, Nimrod, was a small, 40-year-old wooden sealer of 334 gross register tons, and the expedition's members generally lacked relevant experience. On New Year’s Day 1908, Nimrod departed from the South Island port of Lyttelton.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

1991 New Zealand Football Association Soccer Centenary

From the early days of settlement, New Zealanders have got together to play organised sport for enjoyment and the thrill of competition. One popular game to take root here was Association Football or soccer as it is better known here - brought by British settlers.
The New Zealand Football Association began to administer the game on a national basis in 1891. However, soccer has only started to blossom in New Zealand since the 1970s. The game has made strides under the influence of a sponsored national league that began in 1970, weekly television exposure of the best English league games and, most importantly, New Zealand's (The All Whites) participation in the 1982 World Cup finals.
To celebrate the Association's centenary New Zealand Post issued two 80c se tenant stamps, depicting an international game between The All Whites and Brazil.

80c - Goal / All Whites and Brazil.
80c - Tackle / All Whites and Brazil.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

1995 Maori Language

Ko te Reo te Mauri o te Mana Maori. 
The language is the life force of being Maori.

For other posts on Maori see our index New Zealand Maori 

Today, 1st August 2017, marks 30 years since Maori has been recognised
as being an official language of New Zealand.

The Maori language came to New Zealand with the Polynesian migrations around 1000 years ago. Since then, it has developed independently of other Polynesian tongues to become the Maori of today. According to a 2001 survey on the health of the Māori language, the number of very fluent adult speakers was about 9% of the Māori population, or approx. 30,000 adults. A national census undertaken in 2006 says that about 4% of the New Zealand population, or 23.7% of the Māori population, could hold a conversation in Māori about everyday things. Today that number has continued to grow with 60,000 speakers in 2009 and 150,000 by 2013.

As Maori is not spoken widely anywhere else in the world, it provides New Zealand with a unique language identity. For that reason, and for the important role it has to play as a positive social force in the Maori community, its survival is seen as vital. This was recognised with The Maori Language Act 1987, which declared it to be an official language of New Zealand. Another important step was taken in making 1995 Maori Language Year - Te Tau O Te Reo Maori, which was celebrated with this stamp issue.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

1991 Butterfly Definitives.

Definitives Tour.
Back to 1985 - 93 Native Bird Definitives.                              Forward to 1994 $20 Mt Cook Definitive.

         New Zealand is home to 23 species of butterflies. Butterflies belong to the insect order Lepidoptera, which is dominated by the butterfly's close relative - the moth. Butterflies resident in New Zealand display different shapes, colours and patterns and live in a wide range of environments, from forest floors and swamps, to domestic gardens and rocky alpine areas.

         During the early 1990s, a small definitive issue of five values was used with larger dollar value stamps. The butterfly definitive stamps were initially printed by Leigh-Mardon Pty Ltd. The House of Questa later reprinted the issue and these stamps may be distinguished by the differing perforations on the top and bottom edges of the stamps although the $1, $2 and $4 stamps also vary in size. The $4 and $5 stamps were not issued until January 1995.

        The House of Questa stamps were incorrectly listed as being Perf 13¾ x 14 in at least two other highly regarded catalogues when they are in fact 13¾ x 14¼. Volume X of the Postage Stamps of New Zealand (by the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand) confirms that 13¾ x 14¼ is in fact correct.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

2007 Ross Dependency - 50th Anniversary Trans-Antarctic Expedition

       The 1955–58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) was a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole. It was the first expedition to reach the South Pole overland for 46 years, preceded only by Amundsen's and Scott's respective parties in 1911 and 1912.
        In keeping with the tradition of polar expeditions of the "heroic age" the CTAE was a private venture, though it was supported by the governments of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, United States, Australia and South Africa, as well as many corporate and individual donations, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II. It was headed by British explorer Dr Vivian Fuchs, with New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary leading the New Zealand Ross Sea Support team. The New Zealand party included scientists participating in International Geophysical Year (IGY) research while the UK IGY team were separately based at Halley Bay.

Friday, 7 July 2017

1989 New Zealand Writers

This stamp issue pays tribute to the country's men and women of letters. Writers who have all made a remarkable contribution to our life, history and literature.

40c - Katherine Mansfield.
Born on 14 October 1888, Katherine Mansfield grew up with happy childhood memories of Days Bay, Wellington.  After studying music in London, she decided "I must be an authoress" and began writing.  In 1918, she married George Murray and that same year was diagnosed as having tuberculosis.  Her last five years were spent searching for a cure and, perhaps as a reaction to her illness, producing her most creative and fruitful writing.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

1987 New Zealand Post Vesting Day.

       Government services in New Zealand went through some enormous changes in 1987. One of the most significant of these changes saw the New Zealand Post Office split into three State-Owned Enterprises to separately handle the postal and agency, Telecom and the banking businesses of the former Government Department.

        New Zealand Post Limited formally took over the administration of the postal and agency functions from the New Zealand Post Office.  To mark the occasion of the establishment of New Zealand Post Limited, a set of two stamps were issued.

2 x 40c - New Zealand Post.
Two 40 cent se-tenant stamps depicted various elements of postal business from acceptance to delivery including bus, aeroplane, delivery van, postbox and handwritten pad - together with the new corporate logo. When these two stamps are placed together, they tell a story of mail service within New Zealand.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

1987 Fibre Arts

      This issue features a Maori view of the use of natural fibre is the subject of this four stamp issue, designed by Nga Puna Waihanga (an organisation of Maori artists, writers and designers). The designs featured on these stamps are graphic representations that embrace broad concepts of the working of fibre such as knotting, binding and plaiting.

       To the Maori people, indigenous fibres had qualities embracing all aspects of living as well as providing a medium for art and craft.  Cultivation, harvesting and preparation methods and rituals were carefully adhered to by Maori people and reflected the extent to which they depended on fibre products for trapping, snaring, cooking, storage, building, clothing and other utilitarian purposes. Today, Maori weaving and crafts have taken on the new purpose of an art form and training medium for young people.

All my other posts on Maori subjects can be found via our New Zealand Maori index.