In 1995 New Zealand Post trialled a $5.00 booklet of five definitive 'Forest Ringlet' butterfly stamps. The booklet was hugely successful and sold out quickly. It led to a 1996 replacement AirPost Booklet, in a self-adhesive format, designed for long-term use.
The booklet became a convenient addition to New Zealand Post's range and was particularly handy for visitors - and New Zealanders - sending mail overseas. The $1.00 stamp at the time being the value needed for AirPost postcards, Aerogrammes and for letters to Australia and Pacific destinations.
The Airpost booklet stamp featured a magnificent full-flowering Pōhutukawa, commonly known as New Zealand's Christmas tree. The Pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) grows naturally on the northern coastlines of Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and East Cape but also does well when planted elsewhere. At full age it develops, in the words of noted botanist J.T. Salmon, into "a massive, often twisted and gnarled" tree. In December and January the Pōhutukawa is covered with brilliant masses of deep crimson to blood-red flowers.
As well as the stamps, the booklet included five self-adhesive AirPost stickers.
Product Listing for Airpost Booklet
Click on image to enlarge.
|Single Stamp||Single $1.00 'Airpost' self-adhesive stamp.||$1.00|
|First Day Cover||First day cover with stamp affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.||$1.25|
|Self-adhesive booklet||Booklet containing 5 x $1.00 self-adhesive stamps.||$5.00|
|Date of issue:||7 August 1996|
|Stamps and first day covers designed by:||Red Cactus Design, Wellington|
|Number of stamps per booklet:||Five|
|Denominations and designs:||5 x $1.00 - Pōhutukawa tree with border of pōhutukawa flowers|
|Printer and process:||Australia Post Sprintpak, Melbourne, by lithography with stochastic screening|
|Stamp size and format:||26mm x 37.5mm (horizontal)|
|Paper type:||JAC self-adhesive stamp paper|
|Cost of unaddressed first day cover:||$1.25|
|Special blocks:||Due to the booklet format of thsi issue, these stamps were not available in sheet format. Plate/imprint, positional, value barcode and colour blocks were not available with this issue.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 7 August 1996.|