New Zealand and Samoa share a special relationship that is underpinned by the 1962 Treaty of Friendship. 2012 marked 50 years of this important partnership, and New Zealand Post celebrated with this unique stamp issue.
The links between New Zealand and Samoa not only stem from the fact that they are close Pacific neighbours, but are also due to the large number of New Zealanders of Samoan descent living in New Zealand. In 2012 Samoans made up around 50 per cent of New Zealand’s Pacific Island population and the arts and culture of Samoa have become a distinctive voice in New Zealand society.
Each of the five stamps featured a contemporary view of a selu tuiga – a head comb that takes the shape of a traditional tuiga. A tuiga is a Samoan headdress that is worn at important events by the mānaia (son) or the taupou (daughter) of the high chief of the village. The tuiga is a unique symbol of the chiefly nature of Samoan society, and a significant number of tuiga were worn when Samoa gained independence.
Elements of Samoa’s unique culture were crafted by the stamp and coin designer, Michel Tuffery MNZM, into each of the selu tuiga featured on the stamps. These elements include key Samoan cultural frameworks, traditional Samoan arts, architecture, heritage and agriculture.
Michel Tuffery lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand (Aotearoa), and is a famous multi-disciplinary artist of Samoan, Rarotongan and Tahitian heritage. Tuffery has established himself as a diverse and critical creative practitioner within contemporary New Zealand and Pacific Island art, and his work features in major public and private collections globally.
A Samoan Touch Added to Your Collection
The first day cover, miniature sheet and miniature sheet first day cover were the perfect additions to this unique stamp issue. The background of the first day covers featured imagery of siapo (also known as tapa). Siapo is one of the oldest Samoan decorative art forms and a symbol of Samoan culture (and it is also used on the background of each stamp).
The Samoan Maota Fono and the New Zealand Beehive were prominent in the design of the stamp first day cover, while the miniature sheet featured tatau motifs as well as taupau and mānaia wearing tuiga at an ‘ava (kava) ceremony.
The presentation pack was the ultimate collectable in the 50 Years of Friendship: New Zealand and Samoa stamp issue. Inside was a complete set of stamps, the miniature sheet and the first day cover. It was also a great way to find out more about Samoan culture and its links to New Zealand. It was written in both Samoan and English by Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, Senior Lecturer, Programme Director Samoan Studies, Va'aomanu Pasifika, Victoria University of Wellington.
To view a video interview of Michel Tuffery on the design of the stamps and coin for this issue click here.
New Zealand Post wishes to acknowledge the following for their assistance and guidance in bringing together this special stamp issue: '50 Years of Friendship: New Zealand and Samoa'.
- Michel Tuffery MNZM - Stamp and coin designer http://www.micheltuffery.co.nz/
- Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, Senior Lecturer, Programme Director Samoan Studies, Va'aomanu Pasifika, Victoria University of Wellington - Guest writer and translator
- New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Manatū Aorere
- The Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa
- Creative New Zealand - Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa
Interview with the Designer Michel Tuffery MNZM
Take a look at the commemorative coins that were also part of this issue. Click here to find out more.
Product Listing for 50 Years of Friendship: New Zealand and Samoa
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||1 August 2012|
|Number of stamps:||Five gummed stamps|
|Stamps, miniature sheet, first day covers and presentation pack designed by:||Michel Tuffery MNZM, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Denominations:||70c, $1.40, $1.90, $2.40 and $2.90|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||30mm x 40mm (vertical)|
|Paper type:||Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||14 x 14|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 31 July 2013.|