Although not native to New Zealand, pigs have been part of our landscape for more than 200 years. In 1769, French explorer Jean Francois-Marie de Surville gave two piglets to a Māori chief, and within five years English navigator James Cook had brought more to our shores. Since then, pigs have become more than just livestock – for many Kiwis they are family pets.
In this delightful stamp issue – and in celebration of the Chinese Year of the Pig in 2007 – we looked at three pigs that New Zealand is proud to call its own. All three are remnants of earlier introductions that have, through isolation, developed unique qualities and characteristics – and along the way, gained enthusiastic support that has ensured their survival in a world where commercial production considerations would have ended their continued existence.
Gathering the Herd
The first day cover for this stamp issue combined the five stamps with a photograph of two kunekune pigs and the Chinese character for ‘pig’.
A Pair of Porcine Beauties
The Year of the Pig miniature sheet presented two of the five stamps in this issue – the $2.00 kunekune pig and the $1.50 Auckland Island pig – accompanied by an intricate illustration of the 12 animals that make up the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
The miniature sheet also featured on a special first day cover – the 11th consecutive year that New Zealand Post marked the Chinese Lunar Calendar in this way.
Read All About It
For a more detailed look at New Zealand pigs – and the Year of the Pig – you would have obtained a copy of a gorgeously rendered presentation pack.
It combined the colours and styles of the East with our contemporary stamps, and included the five stamps, the miniature sheet and the two first day covers.
And for the Discerning Collector...
The 2007 Year of the Pig limited edition (only 2,000 of these beautiful packs were produced) contained a set of five stamps, a numbered limited edition first day cover, a miniature sheet, miniature sheet first day cover, colour separations of the $2.00 stamp and detailed commentary on pigs and their place in our lives.
Product Listing for 2007 Year of the Pig
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||7 February 2007|
|Number of stamps:||Five gummed stamps|
|Denominations and designs:||45c, 90c, $1.35, $1.50, $2.00|
|Stamps and first day cover designed by:||Cue Design, Wellington|
|Lunar illustrator:||Lindy Fisher, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Printer and process:||Australia Post, Sprintpak, by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||40.28mm x 30mm (horizontal)|
|Paper type:||Tullis Russell Helecon 3336 phosphor stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||14 x 14.4|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 6 February 2008.|