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

1990 Scenic

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The 150th celebrations of three cities and a famous small town coincided with the sesquicentennial year of New Zealand. The four subjects of these stamps could hardly offer greater contrast in terms of size and life styles. 

Issue information

At one end of the scale is Auckland, easily New Zealand's largest population centre.  One in three New Zealanders lives in the Auckland province, the northern third of the North Island.

Akaroa, at the other extreme, is a tiny South Island settlement with a permanent population of fewer than 1,000.  It nestles on the eastern shore of Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula.

In between Auckland and Akaroa, in location, population and way of life, are Wanganui and Wellington, both in the southern North Island.  Wanganui is a country centre, serving a stable rural area.  Wellington is distinctive as the nation's capital and clings to the steep hills ringing a magnificent harbour. 

A fact of history is what brings Auckland, Akaroa, Wanganui and Wellington together in this issue.  All four date their European founding to 1840, the year of the Treaty of Waitangi and the year that systematic immigration began.  They were among the first locations settled by Europeans and hence New Zealand Post issued the 1990 Scenic Issue with these places in mind.

By late 1840, officials, traders and workmen had flocked to the site of Auckland to help build the town, and in 1842 the first immigrant ships from Britain arrived. Many ethnic groups settled in Auckland.  English, Danes, Yugoslavs, Dutch and, in a second migratory wave, the Polynesians from the islands of the Pacific.  Each added their own cultures.  Today it could be regarded as the most cosmopolitan city in New Zealand boasting the country's largest city and home to over one quarter of the entire country's population.

Miniature Sheet - $2.30

This sheet was issued in support of the 'New Zealand 1990' World Stamp Exhibition and incorporated the $1.80 'Auckland' stamp. 

A surcharge of 50 cents for each sheet sold will be passed on to the Executuve Committe "New Zealand 1990" in support of their World Philatelic exhibition to be held in Auckland in 1990

In the background of the sheet design is Rangitoto Island the most noble of the series of extinct volcanoes surrounding Auckland.  It stands on guard over the harbour entrance.  Auckland is essentially an aquatic playground with everything from wild ocean surfing beaches to tranquil inner harbour coves.  The hundreds of yachts constantly on the water give the Queen City its name - City of Sails.

Product listing for 1990 Scenic

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 80c 'Akaroa' gummed stamp.

Captain Jean Langlois, a French whaler from Havre, first sailed into Akaroa Harbour in 1838. He was most favourably impressed with what he saw and began negotiations with the Maori to purchase a portion of the peninsula. This was the beginning of the French attempt to establish a colony in the area, only to discover that British sovereignty had been declared over the whole of the South Island.

Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Wanganui' gummed stamp.

In the early days, the fertile banks of the Wanganui river supported many Maori who were living in fortified pa and villages. One of the first Europeans to visit the area, John Rowe, was a whaler and dealer in preserved Maori heads. His visit in 1831 resulted in the loss of his own head - which was later dried and offered for sale. 

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Wellington' gummed stamp.

In January 1840, the New Zealand Company's ship 'Cuba' sailed into Wellington Harbour, followed shortly after by 'Aurora' carrying the first settlers. Then came the 'Oriental' and the 'Roxburgh' and, 340 more ships were to arrive in the next three years. The Maori were astonished at the numbers of new arrivals, wondering if the whole population of England was being transported. 

Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'Auckland' gummed stamp.

On the isthmus between the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours lies Auckland. In earlier times Auckland was the site of a heavily fortified pa, kumara fields, and numerous small Maori villages. The site of the present day city was bought from the Ngati Whatua tribe by Captain William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, who designated it as a single administrative area and later the country's capital. 

Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $2.30
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $5.35
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $2.55

Technical information

Date of issue: 13 June 1990
Designers: Lindy Fisher, Auckland
Printers: Leigh-Mardon, Australia
Denominations: 80c, $1.00, $1.50, $1.80
Stamp size: 29.4mm x 35mm
Miniature sheet size: 125mm x 100mm
Sheet size: 100 stamps per sheet
Process: Lithography
Perforation gauge: 14.25
Paper type: Red phosphor coated, unwatermarked
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 13 June 1991.