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 1995-1997 Scenic Definitives.

         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.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

1991 The Tuatara / World Wildlife Fund

        The Tuatara is the sole survivor from a lineage which stretches back before the dinosaur age. Scientists have been aware for over a century now that the Tuatara is no ordinary reptile. It is in fact, the last living representative of the reptilian order Sphenodontia. The Tuatara's ancestors are known to have been around over 225 million years ago - about the time the first dinosaurs trampled the earth. And today's Tuatara survives 65 million years after the last dinosaur disappeared.

        Naturalists have been beating a path to these shores since the late 1800s to collect Tuatara - sometimes hundreds at a time - for the world's museums. As a result, as early as 1885 a warrant was bestowed to provide all Tuatara with absolute protection. All Tuatara islands are now Wildlife Sanctuaries or Flora and Fauna Reserves so that permits are required in order to visit them. The factors which impact most heavily on the Tuatara's survival are the modification of their habitat, the numbers of co-existing petrels and shearwaters, and the island's population of rats.

        There is approximately 100,000 individual Tuatara alive today. Almost every one of them inhabits one of 30 small, cliff-ringed islands off the shores of New Zealand. Stephens Island in Cook Strait is home to at least 30,000 - almost one-third of the world's Tuatara population.

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 )

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

2017 Definitives

Definitive Tour
Back to 2016 Scenic Definitives.                Forward to.......

    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.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

2017 The British & Irish Lions Tour

See our collection - Rugby on New Zealand Stamps.

          Every four years The British & Irish Lions tour the Southern Hemisphere, and in 2017 it’s New Zealand’s turn to host and compete in a series that captivates a nation. The series will begin in Whangarei on 3 June, and over the course of six weeks, ten matches will be played in seven different cities against eight different New Zealand teams.

          The British & Irish Lions rugby Tour was first dreamt up by a couple of English cricketers by the names of Alfred Shaw and Arthur Shrewsbury. The first Tour had the team playing 19 games of Aussie rules football, but the concept soon developed and the first officially sanctioned Tour to the Southern Hemisphere was organised in 1891. It wasn’t until 1899 that a Lions team was made up of players representing the four home nations of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland - a tradition that continues today.

The British & Irish Lions - First Day Cover.