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

1915 War Stamp

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In 1915, the National Government decided that, because of the rise in costs due to the continuation of war conditions, it would be necessary to suspend the penny letter postage rate temporarily. 

Issue information

On the 2nd August it was decided that a special stamp should be issued to indicate the reason for the increase, and instructions were given that the 1/2d King George V issue should be overprinted with an appropriate inscription. 

The overprint consisted of the inscription 'WAR STAMP' in small serif capitals below two five-pointed stars.


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 1915 War Stamp

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 1/2d 'Green George V (Surface)' gummed stamp.

Overprinted 'War Stamp'.


Technical information

Date of issue: 24 September 1915
Designers: L C Mitchell, Wellington and Government Printer, Wellington
Printers: Government Printing Office, New Zealand
Overprint size: The overprint measured 14 1/4mm in length and the letters were 2mm in height. The space between the words and the stars measured 9 3/4,, amd tje stars were 9 1/2mm apart.
Stamp size: 25mm x 28mm
Sheet size: 80 stamps per sheet
Process: Surface printed - Typography
Perforation gauge: 14
Paper type: Cowan chalk surfaced, NZ and star watermark.