The 2009 Niue Definitives stamp collection captured some of the magic of this beautiful island.
Nestled in the heart of the South Pacific lies an undiscovered piece of paradise: the sublime, unspoiled, tropical island of Niue. Home to just 1,500 people, Niue offers visitors a unique getaway destination – a breathtaking combination of virgin rainforest, tiny swimming coves and spectacular snorkeling, diving and deep-sea fishing experiences.
Through 11 photographic images that made up the 2009 Niue Definitives stamp collection, we roamed from the country’s panoramic coastlines and gravity-defying rock formations to a glimpse of a humpback whale and the visual wonders that accompany the snorkeling experience. Carrying the Niue Tourism logo and set against an image of traditional woven pandanus leaf, the stamps were proof indeed that Niue is undiscovered, unspoiled and simply unbelievable.
This was the first Niuean stamp issue produced and distributed by New Zealand Post under a new agreement with the Niuean government (http://www.niueisland.com/).
One of the world’s largest coral islands, Niue was originally settled by migrating Tongans, Samoans and Cook Islanders. Through the centuries it has evolved to have its own culture and language, similar to, but quite separate from, those of its neighbours. Niue’s name, which translates as ‘Behold! The coconut!’, reflects the island’s ability to sustain the coconut palm – and therefore be a land worth inhabiting. However, it’s much more than coconuts; Niue offers an abundance of natural riches both on the land and in its surrounding seas.
Almost a quarter of the island is virgin rainforest, filled with native birds and plant life, while avenues of fragrant frangipani provide tantalising glimpses of the ocean beyond. You can also explore Niue’s spectacular and extensive cave system – or venture into its offshore waters, rated as among the clearest in the world.
Don a diving suit and you’ll see amazing underwater caverns and cathedrals, as well as a mind-boggling array of marine life including turtles, dolphins, snakes, hard corals and all manner of fish. And with the island’s shelf dropping sharply within 100 metres of dry land in places, you don’t have to travel far to be in very, very deep water. Between June and October each year, you can often see whales a mere 50 metres from the water’s edge!
Niue also has a strong connection with New Zealand. One of the world’s smallest self-governing states, it operates in ‘free association’ with New Zealand, and most Niueans now live there (about 20,000 are Niuean born or of direct Niuean descent). It’s a bond that has endured in various forms for more than 100 years – and one that continues to unite the two nations today.
Product Listing for 2009 Niue Definitive
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||14 September 2009|
|Number of stamps:||11 gummed stamps|
|Miniature sheets:||One sheet with six stamps, one sheet with five stamps|
|Denominations:||10c, 20c, 30c, 50c, $1.00, $1.20, $1.40, $1.70, $2.00, $3.00, $5.00|
|Stamps, miniature sheets and first day covers designed by:||Stamps & Collectables Business, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print, New Zealand by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||40mm x 30mm (horizontal)|
|Paper type:||Tullis Russell 104gsm non-phosphor gummed stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 01 June 2018.|