Monday, 29 May 2017

2017 New Zealand Surf Breaks

        New Zealand sits right in the cross hairs of the Roaring Forties, leaving it exposed to the rolling swell that boils up from turbulent Antarctic storms. New Zealand’s tiny land mass with vast stretches of epic coastline has made it somewhat of a surfer’s paradise - minus the constant warm weather and coconut trees! The New Zealand Surf Breaks stamp issue takes a look at some of New Zealand’s most popular surf breaks - from the long peeling waves at Piha to the frigid waters along the Dunedin coast.

        Each of the five stamps in this issue features one of New Zealand’s prime surfing spots, with dramatic images captured by some of New Zealand’s top surf photographers. The North Island is represented by two of New Zealand’s most well-known surf spots, Piha Bar in Piha and Manu Bay in Raglan, as well as the Waiwhakaiho River mouth in Taranaki along Surf Highway 45. The South Island is represented by Mangamaunu in Kaikoura and Aramoana Spit in Dunedin, both producing world-class breaks in the cooler southern waters.

Friday, 26 May 2017

2010 100 Years of Surf Life Saving

Summer 2010/11 marked a century-long legacy of heroic service on New Zealand beaches, and New Zealand Post celebrated with the 100 Years of Surf Life Saving stamp issue. This interesting stamp issue depicted surf lifeguards in action - patrolling beaches and rescuing swimmers in heavy surf on beaches up and down the country. 

Each stamp depicted an aspect of Surf Life Saving, and all five stamps were captured together on the first day cover. I like the way each design through this whole issue had a common theme of the lifeguard on the left, always alert, always watching what is going on. Also available was a special presentation pack, in which Bob Harvey, President of Surf Life Saving New Zealand, tells the story of the Surf Life Saving movement in New Zealand.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

2005 Ross Dependency Through the Lens.

          Antarctica is well known as one of the most starkly desolate places on earth – a vastly inhospitable expanse of land permanently cloaked in ice. Yet for all its frozen isolation, the continent’s landscapes and wildlife are also breathtakingly beautiful, inspiring some of New Zealand’s greatest photographers to create some of their finest works.

          In 2005, New Zealand Post invited five professional photographers to submit their personal favourites of the Ross Dependency – and the results are simply stunning. That was how NZ Post described this issue but I have to admit that personally, I was disappointed with the stamps.  

Sunday, 21 May 2017

1986 United Nations International Year Of Peace

        Costa Rica is a small country, bordered by Nicaragua and Panama, and on either side by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Small it may be, but it was Costa Rica's initiative that saw the International Year of Peace first proposed in the United Nations General Assembly in 1981. The following year, a proposal to observe the calendar year of 1986 as the official United Nations International Year of Peace was adopted by consensus.

        During 1985 a nationwide design competition was held to obtain designs for the stamp issue.  The winning designs were seen as strongly promoted the message of peace.  They incorporated a diverse group of peace symbols that would be recognised by the widest possible spectrum of the community:  the dove; the 'tree of life', the United Nations Year of Peace logo; and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament symbol.

Two se tenant stamps depicting the dove; the 'tree of life'. The United Nations Year of Peace logo and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament symbol can be seen on each stamp too. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

1986 Music

       This is a small issue celebrating traditional forms of music popular in New Zealand. I'm not sure just how popular these stamps were. Certainly, I overlooked them until we discovered them recently. Anyway, they are real stamps so we need to include them in this blog. I think the stories that were added by NZ Post makes the issue more interesting. I know I learnt a few new things which is partly what this blog is all about.

30c - Classical Music.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

2017 He Tohu

      He Tohu is a remarkable new permanent exhibition in the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa in Wellington, that opened on 20 May 2017. It sheds new light on three iconic constitutional documents that shape our nation: 1835 He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni - Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand, 1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi - Treaty of Waitangi and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition - Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine.

    ( It came as a surprise when reading the March Campbell Paterson Newsletter, I discovered that NZ Post listed this issue as their 2017 Matariki Issue on a list of issues for that year. After the many great issues in that series, I'd certainly see these three stamps as a step backwards. Since NZ Post do not mention Matariki in their website notes on this issue, I have not decided if it should be included in my Matariki collection.    Allan )

See our index New Zealand Maori.  

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

2017 Definitives

Definitive Tour

    While New Zealand Post has worked hard to keep postage rates as low as possible, an annual decline in mail volumes has resulted in a review of the costs of our products and services.

      From 1 July 2017 FastPost will increase from $1.80 to $2.30 for a medium letter, from $2.80 to $3.30 for large letters and from $3.80 to $4.30 for oversize letters. To meet these changes, New Zealand Post is issuing two new scenic definitive stamps for the $2.30 and $4.30 denominations. There is already an existing scenic definitive stamp for $3.30 which features the iconic Dunedin railway station.

      Our isolated, water-bound country boasts 14,000 kilometres of unmatchable coastline. From long sandy beaches to steep rocky inclines, New Zealand’s beaches come in all forms, and almost all of them are capable of producing a surfable swell. Following on the theme of the surf-break issue, these two definitive stamps also feature popular surfing locations.

Monday, 15 May 2017

2004 Ross Dependency Emperor Penguins

        For human beings, Antarctica is a vast, icy and perennially inhospitable land, approached and inhabited by only the hardiest of souls. But for the Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), the continent is truly home – even in winter, when it’s the only animal to spend the season breeding on the open ice.
        Every winter, once the sea ice has formed, they gather at their breeding ground, the mates of the previous year seeking each other out and spending several weeks renewing their acquaintance. Once the eggs are laid (one for each pair), the male becomes the official incubator, balancing the egg on top of his feet and covering it with a warm fold of skin and feathers. He huddles with other penguins to preserve warmth in this chilly environment, where temperatures can fall below -60 degrees Celsius. Two months later, the male half his former weight, the egg hatches and a new penguin life begins – joining the battle for survival in one of the most desolate parts of the world.