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

1931 Health

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The dominant feature of these two stamp designs is a happy, smiling boy radiating health and contentment. The background design represents typical New Zealand lake and mountain scenery. The four stars at the top left of the design are symbolic of the Southern Cross and appear next to the anti-tuberculosis cross.

Issue information

By 1931 New Zealand was affected by the world-wide financial depression and as a means of raising more revenue for public expenditure the Government increased postal rates on 26 June 1931, the universal letter rate being raised from 1d to 2d.

A printing plate for the new 1d +1d Health stamp had already been produced in England when the postage rates were increased. As there was insufficient time for a second 2d + 1d plate to be produced overseas, the new plate was produced locally by W.R. Bock.

The sum raised for the Summer Health camps was only £778, the lowest recorded from the sales of these special issues. The effects of the depression were such that the spending power of the public was greatly reduced, due to reduced incomes and increased taxation imposed by the Government.


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 1931 Health

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp Single 1d + 1d 'Red boy' gummed stamp. 2d
Single Stamp Single 2d + 1d 'Blue boy' gummed stamp. 3d

Technical information

Date of issue: 31 October 1931
Designers: L C Mitchell, Wellington
Printers: Government Printing Office, New Zealand
Stamp size: 24mm x 40mm
Sheet size: 120 stamps per sheet
Process: Surface printed - Typography
Perforation gauge: 14.5 x 14
Paper type: Cowan chalk surfaced, NZ and star watermark
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 29 February 1932.