Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins
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Centenary of New Zealand Police

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This stamp issue depicted a wide variety of police activities spanning the last 100 years; such as life and property protection, crime prevention, catching lawbreakers, social services, finding missing people, domestic disputes and attending to everyday police work.

Issue information

Although the centenary of policing in New Zealand was commemorated in 1986, the story actually began in 1840. New Zealand was at that time governed from New South Wales in Australia and at the request of Governor William Hobson a group of Victorian Mounted Police were brought across from Australia for policing duties. From this came the establishment of New Zealand's Police Magistracy Forces.

Six years later, the new Governor, George Grey took heed of an influx of European settlers. A means of law and order enforcement was needed, and Grey established an armed Police force. For the next 40 years the Police force was responsible for preserving the peace and undertaking military duties as necessary. The police remained under military control for many years. It eventually became obvious that Police force separate from the military was required and on 1 September 1886 the Police Force Act brought about the severance of police operations from those of the armed forces.

Each stamp contains a scene from the past in sepia tones, and a scene in colour of the modern force. Together the stamps form a montage of people, uniforms, equipment and buildings.

Stamp Bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 34 in September 1985.

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 Centenary of New Zealand Police

Image Title Description Price
  Se-tenant Set  Mint, used or cancelled se-tenant set of 5 x 25c stamps (illustrating the varied facets of police work - old and modern).  $1.25
  First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $1.45

Technical information

Date of issue: 15 January 1986
Denominations: 25c x 5 stamps se-tenant
Designers: Mr Allan Mitchell, Wellington
Printer and process: Leigh-Mardon Pty Limited, Australia by offset lithography
Stamp size and format: 28mm x 42mm (vertical)
Sheet size:   100 (10 rows of 10)
Perforation gauge: 14.25 x 14
Paper type: Unwatermarked
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 30 April 1987
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