Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins
Call: 06 262 7262

Chatham Islands 1970

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The Chatham Islands group, which consists of Chatham and Pitt Islands and some smaller islands, lies 422 miles south-east of Wellington. Chatham is the largest of the islands (about 222,500 acres) and its chief settlement is Waitangi. The smaller Pitt Island has an area of approximately 15,300 acres.

Issue information

The first European to discover the islands in 1791 was Lieutenant William Broughton who named them after the ship in which he was sailing to Tahiti.  Almost a quarter of the main island is covered by shallow lagoons, the largest of them called Te Whanga. The land carries predominantly fern and pasture with some karaka and nikau palms.

Chatham Islands Lily (Myosotidium hortensia).

Chatham Islands Mollymawk (Diomedea cauta eremita).  This bird is one of the Albatross family, a sea bird with a large wing spread and a hooked bill.  In other parts of the world it is also known as a mollyhawk or mollymoke.  The name is a corruption of the Dutch 'Mallemuck', derived from 'mal' (foolish) and 'mok' (gull).

Stamp bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 5 in December 1970.

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:

Technical information

Date of Issue: 2 December 1970
Designers: E Mayo, Christchurch
Printers: Japanese Government Printing Bureau, Japan
Stamp Size: 43mm x 25.5mm
Sheet Size: 50 stamps per sheet
Process: Photogravure
Perforation Gauge: 13 x 13.5
Paper Type: Chalk surfaced, unwatermarked
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