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

150 Years of New Zealand Stamps 1955 - 2005

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The third and final instalment of the landmark stamp series - 150 Years of New Zealand Stamps - looked back  at some of the greatest moments in our philatelic history, as we commemorated the people, places and perspectives that has made New Zealand the country that it is.

Issue information

Between 1955 and 2005, New Zealand experienced some of the most dramatic changes in its history. Our population doubled in size, technological advances heralded marvels like microwaves and mobile phones, we moved to decimal currency, and we voted out our voting system. Through it all, we celebrated, honoured and reflected on thousands of topics through our stamps. In this last issue in the series, we covered our most recent 50 years with five distinctively different examples.

Miniature Sheet - A Precious Record

If you collected the miniature sheets from the past two instalments of the 150 Years of New Zealand Stamps series, you would have known that they were worth collecting. All five stamps were beautifully displayed against a 50-year timeline, featuring some of the most important events and dates of the decades. Stylishly colourful, they were a lovely presentation piece, whether alone or in the complete set of three.

Presentation Pack

The presentation pack was the perfect package for the 150 Years of New Zealand Stamps 1955 - 2005 collection. You could read more about the story behind the stamps as well as acquiring the five stamps, the miniature sheet and the two first day covers.

First Day Covers

One first day cover displayed the five stamps and the other a miniature sheet - both superb records of 50 years in which New Zealand welcomed change, defied convention and established its place as a business, tourism and sporting centre of excellence on the international scene.

Centenary of the Stamp Vending Machine Pre-stamped Envelope

In June 1905 the world's first stamp vending machine was trialled in Wellington, New Zealand. The machine dispensed 3,901 stamps during the intial fortnight's test.

The machine was invented by R J Dickie and constructed with the assistance of J H Brown, a Wellington photographer, and W Andrews, an engineer (all of whom are depicted on the front of the envelope).

Stamp rolls for use in the machine were made from sheets of one-penny Universal stamps.

Product Listing for 150 Years of New Zealand Stamps 1955-2005

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Desription Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c '1965 50th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing' gummed stamp.

The first stamps to commemorate the bravery and fortitude of the Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli were released in 1936. Twenty-two years later, the Returned Services Association suggested the 50th anniversary of the landings be recognised with a special stamp issue. Two stamps were released, with the red poppy commemorating the ANZACs' later service and sacrifices in France and Belgium.

Single Stamp

Single 90c '1988 Round Kiwi' gummed stamp.

The story of the kiwi and its journey to becoming an internationally recognised symbol of New Zealand dates back to the late 19th century, when the South Canterbury Battalion and the Hastings Rifle Volunteers began featuring it on their badges. In 1988 it was the obvious - and perhaps the only acceptable image for the first round stamp ever issued by New Zealand Post.

Single Stamp

Single $1.35 '1990 The Achievers - Katherine Sheppard' gummed stamp.

Kate Sheppard was one of six New Zealanders recognised in the 1990 'The Achievers' stamp issue. This courageous woman was the leader and inspiration behind the late-19th-century suffragette movement, whose determined efforts resulted in New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to give women the right to vote - introducing universal suffrage in 1893.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 '1994 Māori Myths - Māui' gummed stamp.

Of all the Māori myths, the story of Māui fishing up New Zealand is one of the most well known. While fishing at a secret spot, Māui hooked a giant creature on his line, and with the help of his brothers hauled it to the surface - thus 'landing' the North Island (Te Ika A Māui - the fish of Māui). According to legend, the Island's mountains and valleys are blows the brothers landed on the creature to subdue it.

Single Stamp

Single $2.00 '2003 100 Years of New Zealand Test Rugby' gummed stamps.

New Zealand's philatelic heritage would not be complete without a tribute to our world-famous sporting heroes - the indomitable All Blacks. Since the first official 'test' between New Zealand and Australia in 1903, the team has come to represent everything great about this small country - our independence, our innovation and our willingness to tackle challenges many others may think impossible.

Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $6.20
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.70
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.70
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps. $29.95
Pre-stamped Envelope Pre-stamped envelope. $2.50

Technical information

Date of issue: 1 June 2005
Number of stamps: Five
Denominations and designs: 45c 1965 50th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing, 90c 1988 Round Kiwi, $1.35 1990 The Achievers - Katherine Sheppard, $1.50 1994 Māori Myths - Māui, $2.00 2003 100 Years of New Zealand Test Rugby
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day cover designed by: Totem Design, Wellington
Printers and process: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 40mm x 30mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 14
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B format.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 31 May 2006.