New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Christmas 2009

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Since 1960 New Zealand Post has been producing Christmas stamps and one central theme has remained constant: the importance and relevance of the Christmas tradition for the people of New Zealand and those of others around the world.

Issue information

Following the success of the Christmas 2008 stamps, the 2009 issue combined traditional and contemporary views of this annual Christian festival. It comprised of three traditional stamps depicting nativity scenes designed by Wellington artist Stephen Fuller, and three by members of the next creative generation – the winners of our Design a Stamp school competition, in which school children nationwide sent us their own perspectives on the theme ‘What do you love about Christmas?’.

Traditional Stamps

Stephen Fuller’s images of the Nativity, based on the religious icon style, capture three well known Christmas scenes: the three shepherds who followed a star to Bethlehem; Mary, Joseph and the newborn baby Jesus; and the Magi, popularly named Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior, who came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Originally created as much larger images, Stephen’s illustrations had been meticulously reproduced to stamp size. It’s a technique with which he’s now familiar, having designed a number of New Zealand Post stamp issues in the past 10 years. “The importance of colour is to differentiate one stamp from another in the series, the light and shade helps clarity at the small scale,” he said.

To complement the traditional stamps, New Zealand Post included a fifth colour – gold.

Combining the Themes

The two Christmas 2009 first day covers made an integrated and complementary set – one featuring the traditional stamps, and the other the deliciously colourful children’s stamps.

Product Listing for Christmas 2009

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 50c 'White Chair and Pōhutukawa Tree' gummed stamp.

Felix Wang
Age 11
ACG Parnell College

"NZ’s Christmas is summer and I love to sit on a chair, enjoy the view and relax. Also lots of people called the pōhutukawa the New Zealand Christmas tree."

Single Stamp 50c single 'Traditional - The Shepherds' gummed stamp. $0.50
Single Stamp Single $1.00 'Traditional - The Holy Family' gummed stamp. $1.00
Single Stamp Single $1.80 'Traditional - Wise Men' gummed stamp. $1.80
Single Stamp

Single $2.30 'New Zealand Pigeon with Hat' gummed stamp.

Dannielle Aldworth
Age 10
Wellsford School

“I love the NZ pigeon and I gave it a hat for Christmas.”

Single Stamp

Single $2.80 'Receiving Christmas Presents' gummed stamp (design a stamp winner).

Apurv Bakshi
Age 7
St Andrew’s College

“I love getting presents for Christmas.”

Single Stamp Single 50c 'Traditional - The Shepherds' self-adhesive stamp. $0.50
Single Stamp Single $1.80 'Traditional - Wise Men' self-adhesive stamp. $1.80
Set of First Day Covers Set of two first day covers with three competition winning stamps and three traditional stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $12.20
Self-adhesive Dispenser Dispenser box containing 100 x 50c self-adhesive stamps. $50.00
Self-adhesive Booklet Booklet containing 10 x 50c self-adhesive stamps. $5.00
Self-adhesive Booklet Booklet containing 10 x $1.80 self-adhesive stamps (discount of $3.00 applied). $15.00

Technical information

Date of issue:
7 October 2009
Number of stamps:
Six gummed and two self-adhesive
Gummed: 50c (x2), $1.00, $1.80, $2.30, $2.80; Self-adhesive: 50c, $1.80
Stamps and first day covers designed by:
Traditional: Stephen Fuller, Wellington, New Zealand; Design a Stamp Competition: Communication Arts, Wellington, New Zealand; Design a Stamp first day cover: Stamps Business, New Zealand Post
Printer and process:
Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours:
Four process colours, plus metallic PMS 871 gold
Stamp size and format: Gummed: 35mm x 35mm; Self-adhesive: 25mm x 30mm (vertical)
Paper type:
Gummed: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper; Self-adhesive: Avery Dennison B100 PS1 gloss back adhesive 210gsm
Number of stamps per sheet:
Gummed: 50; Self-adhesive: booklets of 10 x 50c and $1.80, dispenser box of 100 x 50c
Perforation gauge:
Gummed: 14.25; Self-adhesive: die cut
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 6 October 2010.