A favourite with collectors, the Round Kiwi stamp returned due to popular demand.
One of New Zealand Post’s most enduring stamps, the Round Kiwi stamp was first produced in olive green in 1988. Since then, New Zealand’s national bird has appeared in red (1991), blue (1993), purple (in 1997 initially, and re-issued for the new millennium in 1999), gold (2000) and bronze (2002).
In 2011 the Round Kiwi stamp returned in three denominations that reflected New Zealand’s current postage rates. The $1.20 stamp was printed in black – widely regarded as New Zealand’s national colour and worn by several of our sports teams. The $1.90 stamp was printed in silver – reflecting New Zealand’s iconic silver fern (Cyathea dealbata), and the $2.40 stamp was printed in classic blue – synonymous with the vast amount of water surrounding our small island nation.
As well as other subtle design changes, the 2011 Round Kiwi stamps featured the New Zealand Post identifier – the fern.
A New Zealand Treasure
Native to New Zealand, the kiwi has called Aotearoa home for millions of years. New Zealanders are immensely proud of this special bird – so much so that we commonly refer to ourselves as ‘Kiwis’. The kiwi’s hair-like feathers, plump body and long, curved beak make it truly distinctive, and more than deserving of a Round Kiwi stamp issue in 2011. This nocturnal bird cannot fly, and is the only bird known to have nostrils at the end of its bill, through which it sniffs out food.
First Day Cover
Incorporating all three stamps, the first day cover featured a brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) in its natural environment, protecting its precious new egg.
Kiwi are known for laying impressive eggs, and have one of the largest egg-to-bodyweight ratios of any bird. A kiwi egg averages 15 per cent of the female’s bodyweight (compared with only two per cent for the ostrich). Surprisingly, the male brown kiwi does the majority of the egg incubating, and the new chicks hatch fully feathered after 70-85 days of incubation.
Product Listing for 2011 Round Kiwi
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||6 July 2011|
|Number of stamps:||Three gummed stamps|
|Denominations:||$1.20, $1.90, $2.40|
|Stamps and first day cover designed by:||Stamps and Collectables Business, New Zealand Post, Wellington|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||33mm (diameter)|
|Paper type:||Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||10 stamps|
|Special blocks:||Plate/Imprint blocks were obtained by purchasing at least four stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A format.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 5 July 2012.|