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

1932 Health

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The four previously issued stamps for Children’s Health Camps were inscribed with the word ‘Charity’, a term not truly descriptive of the reason for these issues. They were issued to raise funds for the establishment and maintenance of summer camps where children suffering from malnutrition and lack of sound development would be greatly improved in health. The idea was not so much to provide charity as to promote health. The 1932 stamp and all following issues include a reference to ‘Health’ not ‘Charity’.

Issue information

The principal design of the 1932 Health stamp was a symbolical figure partly draped, and intended to represent the Goddess of Health - Hygeia, reclining gracefully on a pedestal. The conventional insignia, the Cup of Health and the Serpent are included in the design, the Cup being grasped in the figure's left hand outstretched aloft, whilst the Serpent is shown entwining the right forearm. The background is composed of radiating lines symbolic of the health-giving rays of the sun.

The first two sheets to come off the printing press were presented to His Excellency the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe who, on 16 November 1932, was paying an official visit to a Children’s Health camp at Otaki.


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 1932 Health

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Image Title  Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 1d + 1d 'Hygeia' gummed stamp.

Symbolic figure, partly draped, represents the Goddess of Health, HYGEIA, reclining gracefully on a pedestal. The insignia, the Cup of Health and the serpent, were included in the design, together with a background composed of radiating lines symbolic of the health-giving rays of the sun.


Technical information

Date of issue: 18 November 1932
Designers: W J Cooch and R E Tripe
Printers: Government Printing Office, New Zealand
Stamp size: 24mm x 38mm
Sheet size: 60 stamps per sheet
Process: Recess printed - Intaglio
Perforation gauge: 14
Paper type: Cowan 'Esparto' unsurfaced, NZ and star watermark
Period of sale: This stamp remained on sale until 28 February 1933.