Saturday, 24 March 2018

2005 Cafe Culture

A place to meet friends… an oasis for the weary… a people-watching vantage point… a romantic hideaway… even a mobile office. For almost a century, cafés have fulfilled an important role in New Zealand society, constantly evolving with the times. The decades may have passed, but the café's place in everyday life has rarely wavered - perhaps because its form and function have always changed to reflect the society of the day. The so-called 'café culture' is literally a moving feast, from the comparatively quaint tea rooms of the early 20th century to the coffee-literate, Internet-connected counterparts we know today.

The stamps, produced in the shape of a coffee cup, were supplied as a strip of five stamps, comprising one stamp of each denomination, as well as sheets of 25.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

1995 Nuclear Free New Zealand

In August 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese cities were destroyed and thousands of civilians killed; countless more died of radiation. The nuclear age had dawned.
Nuclear weapons have never been used in anger since, but the world has shuddered at the ugly mushroom shape of test blasts and once or twice has teetered on the edge of nuclear catastrophe. With the end of the Cold War, humans have stepped back from the brink but the United States, Britain, the former Soviet Union, France and China had stockpiled nuclear weapons and more countries are becoming capable of producing nuclear weapons.

$1.00 - Nuclear Free.
New Zealand Post issued this special stamp featuring the international peace symbol to communicate New Zealand's opposition to nuclear weapons and nuclear testing and its hope that the world will one day be nuclear-free.
I personally do not like the look of this stamp but I think it is that appearance that makes the stamp standout.

Monday, 19 March 2018

1994 Beach Cricket Booklet

Beach Cricket Booklet.
One of the most popular summer pastimes in New Zealand is to go down to the beach - swim, sunbathe, picnic and have a game of beach cricket. It only needs a softball and a piece of wood for a bat, a few sticks for the wickets and the fun begins. This game bears little resemblance to the cricket of the stadium or even the village green - there are few rules, no age limits and as many people as care to can play at once.

NZ Post issued this booklet as part of marking this important milestone in the history of cricket in New Zealand. 

Sunday, 18 March 2018

1994 Centenary of the New Zealand Cricket Council

        This most English of games was introduced to this country by missionaries - an early report mentions a game having been played at the Waimate North mission station in the Bay of Islands in 1835. British immigrants also brought the game with them as they settled in their new country. 
      By the 1860's and 1870's inter-provincial competitions were being contested, English and Australian tours were taking place and the popularity of the sport continued to increase. It became clear that its administration needed to be formalised on a national basis and therefore, on 27 December 1894, the New Zealand Cricket Council was introduced. 

       One hundred years later the game is still as healthy and strong as ever and is one of the most popular sports in New Zealand. Women's cricket emerged in the 1920's and a national Women's Cricket Council was established in 1934. In 1992 the Women's Cricket Council was merged with the board of New Zealand Cricket giving men's and women's cricket a single administration in this country.

       NZ Post marked this event with this issue of four stamps and a ten-stamp booklet. This post is about the main issue while the booklet can be found via the link below. This post of four stamps also included a First Day Cover and a limited edition First Day Cover.

Monday, 12 March 2018

1994 25th Anniversary of The First Moon Landing

On 21 July 1969 (New Zealand Time) man first set foot on the moon. The American astronaut Neil Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11, watched by millions of television viewers around the world, stepped off the ladder of the lunar module, Eagle, on to the moon. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," he said.

Our school teacher brought a TV into the classroom and we watched in wonder as this historic event unfolded. First, there was the launch of the giant Saturn V that carried the tiny capsule with the first men who would walk on the moon. Daily, we followed their progress until finally, they came to the point where the lunar module separated for the trip down to the moon's surface. The first time they stepped out on to the surface came when we were supposed to be at school. So lessons were put aside as we watched those grainy black & white images of Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the lunar surface.

$1.50 - Neil Armstrong / First Man on the Moon.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

1994 Wild Animals.

        It seemed strange that NZ Post would go off and feature animals from other countries like in this issue but there is a good explanation. Wild animals have always been a source of fascination amongst children and it was this subject that was selected for the 1994 stamp issue that coincided with Stamp Month - a month-long promotion each year that promotes stamp collecting among children,

        The ten animals were carefully selected as being ones that children would recognise most readily. Most of them can also be found in zoos in New Zealand. Each stamp also presents a mini-lesson in geography, with a small map showing where each animal comes from.
        The Polar bear, Siberian tiger and Giant panda are found in three of the most forbidding regions on earth. Each has evolved to cope with harsh climatic extremes. The mountains of central and western China are the panda's only known habitat. Also rare is the magnificent Siberian tiger, the largest member of the cat family.
        Africa means wild animals to many - the animals chosen from the jungles and open, grassy plains were the giraffe, African lion and African elephant along with the Plains zebra, the White rhinoceros and the hippopotamus. The spider monkey is found in the forests between Mexico and the southern part of the Amazon basin.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

2007 Centenaries

          Ours is a unique country that’s recognised around the world for its caring nature, love of sport and innovative spirit. In 2007, four significant organisations that have helped shape our culture of today celebrated their centenary.

Se-tenant Block of four 50 cent, one $1, one $1.50 and two $2 stamps.

          NZ Post marked these events by this issue of eight stamps with each organisation being represented by two stamp showing scenes from 1907 and 2007. The stamps have been designed with the older scenes being in one colour reflecting the photography of that time and the new scenes being shown in the full colour of modern photography.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

2018 New Zealand Cycle Trails

         The global financial crisis in 2008 hit New Zealand hard, so much so that the government held an emergency jobs summit. Politicians and businesspeople were pulled together to come up with plans and schemes that would create jobs and boost the economy. One of the more successful ventures was a strategy to build cycle trails all around New Zealand. Not only would this produce jobs for then and in the future, it would also give Kiwis a great way to see all that New Zealand had to offer.

         The New Zealand Cycle Trail incorporates 22 great rides through some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking landscapes. From restored heritage trails, epic swing bridges and curious wildlife to luxury accommodation and good food, the cycle trail offers something for everyone. Many of the trails can be broken up and done across multiple days, or even just tackled a section at a time if you’re after a day trip. The difficulty of each trail varies with the location and terrain; some roll with the landscape while others follow pre-forged paths that were once railway lines or horse tracks. Regardless of the style of trail, difficulty level or length of the journey, you’ll experience New Zealand’s landscape in a unique way.

         In early 2018 NZ Post issued this set of six stamps featuring six of the best of these cycle trails. The portrait format they chose is ideal for displaying some of the beautiful scenery found on these trials. Of course, there was also the usual First Day Covers and Miniature Sheet. There was also a presentation Pack including all three of the collector items above plus lots more information regarding each track. 

Monday, 5 March 2018

1980s Stamp Exhibitions

During the 1980s NZ Post began issuing special collectors miniature sheets to be sold at the stamp exhibitions they attended. Usually, these miniature sheets featured stamps that were currently on sale at that time, in some cases, they were overprints of existing miniature sheets but since they were actually separate issues we have decided to feature them together in this series of posts. 
This post, one of a series I'll be doing, will show all the special issues for stamp exhibitions that NZ Post attended during the 1980s. It is most likely that we will not feature most of these issues on their own pages so they have been collected here.

The first special issues for stamp exhibitions were overprints of existing miniature sheets such as the miniature sheet directly below but as you move down this page you will discover the beginning of a change from overprinted miniature sheets to sheets specially designed for particular exhibitions.

Zeapex '80 International Stamp Exhibition.
This miniature sheet was issued with and without the central overprint. It features three stamps from the 1980 Anniversaries. The issue makes the 125th anniversary of postage stamps in New Zealand and the stamps show copies of those original stamps 1855 Full-Faced Queens. Zeapex '80, the stamp exhibition held in Auckland, was part of these anniversary celebrations.

Zeapex '80 miniature sheet.
1980 Anniversaries miniature sheet with the Zeapex '80 overprint.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

2017 Matariki


      In 2017, when NZ Post didn't issue their annual Matariki stamp issue, I was a bit disappointed. I've come to enjoy each Matariki issue for their interesting and colourful stamps. I understand why they did this because two other Maori related issues were released that year. See 2017 He Tohu and 2017 Te Reo Maori - Maori Language. We don't want too much of a good thing, do we? In the absence of a Matariki issue, I have decided to add my own Matariki post looking at Matariki and some of the legends behind it. When I started this I was looking for a great page of stamps but I could only find two stamps that actually showed Matariki / The Pleiades, so I had to settle on a post using just these two stamps.