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.

Monday, 3 July 2017

1987 Tourism

       Tourism is a high profile, growth industry.  Facilities are bursting at the seams with foreign tourists, and investors and developers have responded by pouring millions of dollars into new hotels and other facilities at holiday resorts.  There is an ever increasing number of tourists seeking outdoor adventure in New Zealand so in 1987 the Post Office played its part in promoting New Zealand overseas by issuing a set of six tourism stamps.  The theme of the stamps underlines a significant development in New Zealand tourism.
       This issue was designed to promote tourism overseas so it didn't include the value for the current standard letter rate within New Zealand at that time. All the stamps have denominations for overseas postage to various parts of the world. In this way, New Zealand tourism, with activities for visitors to New Zealand on each stamp, would be promoted overseas.

        Personally, I feel the appearance would have been improved if sharp photographs of the various activities had been used. Images such as these were all I could find either mint or used.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

2006 Ross Dependency 50th Anniversary Antarctic Programme

        For the few inhabitants of a wedge-shaped piece of land at the very bottom of the world, 2007 marked a very significant milestone. The land is the Ross Dependency, the people are the teams at New Zealand's Scott Base and USAs McMurdo Sound Base, and the milestone is the 50th anniversary of the New Zealand Antarctic Programme, which continues to maintain a unique focus on scientific research in the area.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

1991 Sheep Breeds of New Zealand

        The cornerstone of New Zealand's farm-based economy has always been sheep; a common saying since the early days of the colony has been that the people of New Zealand 'live off the sheep's back'. Although we are now active in the export of a diverse range of other goods, sheep remain a mainstay of our prosperity, right up until more recently when another farming sector, dairy took over.

        It is probable that the first sheep to set foot on New Zealand arrived in 1814 with the missionary Samuel Marsden. It was not until after 1834, however, when the first Australian merinos were landed on Mana Island, bound for the Wairarapa, that sheep were farmed in any volume - and a flourishing wool trade with Europe was developed. An export trade in sheep meat was initiated in 1882, and today New Zealand has an enviable international reputation as an efficient producer and exporter of top quality meat and wool products.
        In New Zealand, sheep are raised for both meat and wool. Since the mid 19th century, New Zealand farmers have worked to perfect breeds which meet the dual purpose needs of both wool and meat. The dual purpose breeds are favoured for their valuable fleece, regular lamb production, multiple births, good maternal instincts, high milk production and easy care characteristics. Five successful New Zealand cross-breeds, along with the traditional English Romney, are featured in this stamp issue.