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

Emerging Years - 1950's

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The 1950s were a time of prosperity, comfort, full employment and a healthy economy. In contrast to the extremes of the previous decades, the 1950s gave New Zealanders much to be content about.

Issue information

Our contribution during the war, outstanding achievements in the international sports arena, the conquest of Mount Everest, social welfare and education systems of world class - even words of flattery from the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II - New Zealand was becoming a mighty little country in its own right.

New Zealanders understandably discovered a new sense of pride and patriotism.

Product listing for Emerging Years - The 1950's

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Image Title Desription Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c 'Rock and Roll' gummed stamp.

It was the sound that changed the face of music forever. American rock 'n' rollers like Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Bill Haley and the Comets not only inspired their frenzied fans halfway around the world - they also saw a whole new breed of 'home grown' musicians like Johnny Devlin and Max Merritt emerge.

Single Stamp

Single 80c 'Conquest of Everest' gummed stamp.

In a decade which saw New Zealand find its feet as a nation, perhaps the biggest single event was that Edmund Hillary conquered the mighty Mount Everest at 11.30am on 29 May 1953. Amidst intense emotions Hillary, the New Zealander, was thrust into the international limelight as a celebrity with courage and fortitude.

Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Aunt Daisy' gummed stamp.

"Good Morning Everybody. Good Morning. Good Morning." The catch cry of one of New Zealand's greatest broadcasting icons, Aunt Daisy. Her quavering voice filled the airwaves with everything from useful household hints to home-grown philosophy from 1936 to 1963 and she also became one of the first New Zealanders to face a television camera in 1951.

Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'Royal Visit' gummed stamp.

Just months after her Coronation, Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning sovereign to visit New Zealand. At the end of her first day here she told the people "though this is my first visit to New Zealand, I have the impression that I know it well and I know that here I shall feel at home." During her five week stay, the young queen charmed and enthralled all with her eloquence and beauty and delivered her Christmas message to the Commonwealth.


Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Opo - the Friendly Dolphin' gummed stamp.

Songs, stories, poems and a novel were inspired by the affectionate and friendly visitor to the tiny Hokianga beach settlement of Opononi in the summer of 1955/56. Opo - the friendly dolphin, seemingly came from nowhere to entertain and amaze bathers with her aquatic antics and tricks. Through the long summer she would play gently with children, eventually giving them rides and etching a place in our history and hearts.


Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'The Coat Hanger' gummed stamp.

A startling addition to the Auckland landscape and a revolution in transportation, the Auckland Harbour Bridge was opened - first to pedestrians - in May 1959. More than 100,000 people streamed across it on foot in a single day and within six weeks of it opening to traffic, one million vehicles had crossed the bridge.

First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.00
Book Premium 44 page book containing stamps and first day covers issued from all four years of The Emerging Years issues from 1992 - 1920's 'Painting the clouds with sunshine', 1993 - 1930's 'I've got a pocketful of dreams', 1993 - 1940's 'Keep the home fires burning' and 1994 - 1950's 'All shook up'. $89.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 24 March 1994
Designer: Karen Odiam, Wellington, NZ
Printer: Leigh-Mardon, Australia
Stamp size: 28mm x 40mm
Sheet size: 100 stamps per sheet
Process: Lithography
Perforation gauge: 14.25 x 14
Paper type: Coated Papers, red phosphor coated, unwatermarked
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 24 March 1995.