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

Giants of New Zealand

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Giants have been spotted… at New Zealand Post! In 2009 we celebrated our unique natural heritage with a ‘larger than life’ illustrated issue featuring five giant stamps, 28 percent larger than normal stamps.

Issue information

Imagine coming face to face with intimidating animals of gigantic proportions. Fortunately for us this is an opportunity almost as rare as the giant squid itself. New Zealand Post gave you the opportunity to capture these giant animals and preserve them forever.

New Zealand’s biodiversity is one of the most unusual on Earth, owing to our lengthy isolation from other continents. Our fauna reflects this uniqueness, evolving into distinctive and often enormous native birds, such as the giant moa and giant eagle, archaic insects like the giant weta, and mammoth ocean dwellers including the colossal squid and southern right whale.

Miniature Sheet

All five creatures featured on the stamps came together to form a uniquely shaped miniature sheet.

First Day Covers

The Giants of New Zealand stamp issue had two first day covers: one stamp and one miniature sheet first day cover.

Presentation Pack

This special product was truly ‘Giant’ as it was three times the size of a standard presentation pack. It was bursting with interesting facts and figures and included a set of stamps, miniature sheet and a set of five fridge magnets featuring the five giants.

Limited Edition

Whether you have a passion for unique glimpses of nature or a love of unique and limited collectable products, this was a must-have collection. This limited edition contained a set of stamps, colour separations of the $2.50 stamp, a uniquely numbered limited edition miniature sheet, a signed stamp first day cover and stories of the animals featured by Alison Ballance, scientist, writer, wildlife film-maker and radio presenter.

Commemorative Coins

Take a look at the commemorative coins that were also part of this issue. Click here to find out more.

Product Listing for Giants of New Zealand

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 50c ‘Giant Moa’ gummed stamp.

Believed to have become extinct around 500 years ago, the South Island giant moa was the tallest bird ever, with some reaching a massive three metres in height.

Single Stamp

Single $1.00 ‘Colossal Squid’ gummed stamp.

From the depths of the southern oceans comes the colossal squid with its formidable tentacles equipped with sharp, swivelling hooks.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 ‘Southern Right Whale’ gummed stamp.

A favourite of early whalers owing to their size and slow speed, southern right whales were easier to catch and yielded more oil than other whales. Hence, the early settlers described this giant species as ‘the right whale’.

Single Stamp

Single $2.00 ‘Giant Eagle’ gummed stamp.

Our very own giant eagle was the world’s largest eagle, believed to have become extinct around the same time as the giant moa.

Single Stamp

Single $2.50 ‘Giant Weta’ gummed stamp.

Despite its horror-movie looks, this 10-centimetre-long insect is a peaceful creature, eating mostly leaves, flowers and fruit. With most species of giant weta endangered, it now survives mainly on protected islands.

Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $7.50
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $8.00
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $8.00
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue, further information on the theme of the stamps and a set of five fridge magnets. $19.90
Limited Edition Limited edition collectable containing exclusive stamp products not available anywhere else. $135.00

Technical information

Date of issue:  4 March 2009
Number of stamps:  Five gummed stamps
Denominations:  50c, $1.00, $1.50, $2.00, $2.50
Stamps and first day cover designed by:  Dave Gunson, Auckland, New Zealand
Printer and process:  Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand – by offset lithography
Number of colours:  Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 52mm x 37.5mm (horizontal)
Paper type:  Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet:  25
Perforation gauge:  14.4 x 14.60
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 close of business 3 March 2010.