Wednesday, 13 December 2017

2017 Royalpex National Stamp Exhibition

         Royalpex 2017 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.

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.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

2003 The Royal New Zealand Ballet 50th Anniversary

        I've always enjoyed the Ballet but living in a rural area not always get the chance attend every show. On the internet, that of course, has changed. There is a lot on UTube worth watching and on other sites too. But there is still something special about a live show.
       Many struggle to understand and enjoy ballet. I think other media such as movies and television have played a role in this by giving people a ready-made story complete with realistic scenes etc. There is no imagination involved. No chance to sit back and enjoy the skills and beauty that is found watching ballet. In the labels to the right, I have selected this as being a performing art as I believe that it is.

      This issue of five values marked the 50th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. That was back in 2003. Fifteen years later it is still going. Still turning out wonderful performances. Later in 2003, there was another issue featuring three of these stamps, The Bangkok 2003 World Philatelic Exhibition. This issue is also shown in this post.  

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 in more formal or traditional ways. 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.