New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

100 Years of Surf Life Saving

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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.

Issue information

For 100 years, the volunteer lifeguard service has saved thousands of lives from the surf, and ensured that New Zealand swimmers are in safe hands.

Surf Life Saving has grown immensely since its early days in 1910, when a group of New Brighton community leaders decided by the light of an oil lantern to create a Surf Life Saving club, Since then, local volunteer brigades have transformed into highly disciplined units, and there are now 73 Surf Life Saving clubs in New Zealand with nearly 15,000 members protecting lives.

100 Years of Service Between the Flags

Lifeguards have become an icon of the New Zealand summer, and their red and yellow flags and caps can be seen on coastlines throughout the country. This vibrant 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. Also available was a vibrant 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.

Product Listing for 100 Years of Surf Life Saving

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 60c 'Surf Lifeguard' gummed stamp.

A surf lifeguard on duty with a rescue tube. Throughout the year New Zealand beach patrols set out iconic red and yellow flags to show beach-goers the safest places to swim.

Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'Inflatable Rescue Boat' gummed stamp.

An Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) in the surf. IRBs were introduced to New Zealand in the late 1970’s and quickly proved that they could perform faster and safer rescues than the traditional reel, line and belt rescue method.

Single Stamp

Single $1.90 'Ski Paddlers' gummed stamp.

Ski paddlers in the Surf Life Saving Championships. Surf sports play a key role in making sure lifeguards have the confidence and skills to save lives.

Single Stamp

Single $2.40 'Surf Boat Crew' gummed stamp.

A women’s surf boat crew at a surf carnival. The first wooden surf boats were brought to New Zealand from Australian surf clubs in the 1920s and 1930s.

Single Stamp

Single $2.90 '1930s March Past' gummed stamp.

A march past team in the 1930’s. The march past was the heart and soul of every surf carnival. A grand procession of lifeguards came into the arena from each end, then marched together en masse.

First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $9.50
Souvenir Cover First day cover with stamps affixed from the Wellington launch at Parliament. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $9.50
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing five gummed stamps, first day cover and the story of the Surf Life Saving movement in New Zealand. $19.90

Technical information

Date of issue: 3 November 2010
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Denominations: 60c, $1.20, $1.90, $2.40, $2.90
Stamps and first day covers designed by: Creature, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Cartor Security Printing, France by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours, plus metallic silver
Stamp size and format: 40mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 102gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 13.25 x 13
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks were obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until close of business 2 November 2011.