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75th Anniversary of New Zealand Meat Export Trade

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This stamp issue commemorated the 75th anniversary of the first shipment of frozen meat sent from New Zealand to the United Kingdom. 

Issue information

The first shipment left Port Chalmers on 15 February 1882 on board the ship Dunedin.

The sailing ship of 1,250 tons took 98 days to reach London with its cargo of 4908 sheep and lamb carcasses. Farmers in New Zealand and those in other colonial countries had been trying for years to find a method of transporting some of the abundant meat to the thickly populated and more urbanised nations of Europe.

Although New Zealand was behind Canada, Australia and South American nations in refrigerating meat, the success of the Dunedin's first voyage launched the meat industry in this country. As a result of the successful voyage of the Dunedin the type of sheep raised in the country changed from predominantly Merino to crossbred animals with better meat value.

The industry developed so quickly that within ten years, 17 freezing works capable of handling 3.5 million carcasses a year had been established.

Stamp Bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 12 on 24 January 1957.

Acknowledgments: Bulletin scanned and provided by John Biddlecombe of the New Zealand Society of Great Britain. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link:

Product Listing for 75th Anniversary of New Zealand Meat Export Trade

Image  Title Description Price
Single Stamp Single 4d gummed stamp. 4d
Single Stamp Single 8d gummed stamp. 8d

Technical information

Date of issue: 15 February 1957
Designers: M Goaman, England
Printers: Harrison and Sons, England
Stamp size: 4d : 24mm x 41mm;  8d : 41mm x 24mm
Sheet size: 120 stamps per sheet
Process: Photogravure
Paper type: Wiggins Teape, unsurfaced, multiple NZ and star watermark
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 31 August 1957.
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