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

1906 Christchurch Exhibition

(No reviews yet) Write a Review

In 1906 plans were finalised for the first industrial exhibition of an international scale to be held in New Zealand - the 'New Zealand International Exhibition of Arts and Industries'.

Issue information

The Exhibition was government subsidised and no effort was spared, the buildings were impressive in size and design and included a complete Māori Pā (fortified village). The displays were of a very high standard with significant participation by other British empire countries.

A proposal to issue a set of stamps to commemorate the event was approved by Government.

Mr L J Steel, an Auckland artist, who was well known for his portrayal of Māori and historical subjects, had previously submitted to the Post and Telegraph Department a number of designs of a historical nature. His permission was obtained to use some of these designs for this commemorative stamp issue.

The dies for printing the stamps were engraved by W R Bock of Wellington.


New Zealand Post would like to acknowledge the following for their assistance and guidance in bringing together this stamp issue:

Historical information included on this page sourced from The Postage Stamps of New Zealand published by the Royal Philatelic Society of NZ. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link:

Product Listing for 1906 Christchurch Exhibition

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 1/2d 'Arrival of Te Arawa Canoe' gummed stamp.

From Māori oral history it is clear that numerous voyages were made to New Zealand by Polynesian navigators from their ancient homeland.

Single Stamp

Single 1d 'Vermilion Carving - Canoe Prow ' gummed stamp.

When it is considered that the Māori did not process metal tools and relied upon stone and bone, the intricacy and beauty of the wood carving that was produced is incredible.

Single Stamp

Single 1d 'Claret Carving' gummed stamp.

On seeing the stamp in claret, the colour originally proposed, the authorities decided that the colour did not do justice to the design and it was printed in vermilion instead. Some copies have, however, come into the hands of collectors either from the organising committee of the exhibition, or from Post Office presentation sets.

Single Stamp

Single 3d 'Landing of Captain Cook' gummed stamp.

Captain Cook on his first of three voyages to New Zealand made his first landing at Poverty Bay, on the east coast of the North Island on 8 October 1769.

Single Stamp

Single 6d 'Annexation of New Zealand' gummed stamp.

On 29 January 1840 Captain Hobson arrived at Kororareka in the Bay of Islands empowered with the consent of the Māori population to proclaim the sovereignty of Queen Victoria. The ceremony of the erection of the flagstaff and the reading of the proclamation on 21 May 1840 is depicted on the stamp.

Issued 17 November 1906.


Technical information

Date of issue: 1 November 1906
Designers: L J Steel, Auckland
Printers: Government Printing Office, New Zealand
Stamp size: 40mm x 24mm
Sheet size: 60 stamps per sheet, in 2 panes of 30
Process: Surface printed - Typography
Perforation gauge: 14
Paper type: Cowan, NZ and star watermark.