As a small nation surrounded by water, New Zealand has relied on ships and vessels as a means of transport for as long as it's been inhabited. The Great Voyages of New Zealand stamp issue featured five vessels that have played a part in shaping New Zealand.
2012 was a fitting time to look at New Zealand’s maritime history, as it marked a number of significant anniversaries, including 50 years of the Cook Strait Inter-Island Rail and Road Service. 100 years had passed since the Earnslaw was successfully launched, and it had been 130 years since the Dunedin completed the first successful shipment of frozen meat between New Zealand and England.
Those important milestones were celebrated in the Great Voyages of New Zealand stamp issue along with waka, which transported people and trade goods across Cook Strait, and the Rotomahana – the first ocean-going ship built of mild steel.
Whether they were enabling trade, increasing efficiencies or transporting people, each of the vessels in the Great Voyages of New Zealand stamp issue had a unique story to tell.
Great Voyages on Great Collectables
This issue included a miniature sheet, first day cover and miniature sheet first day cover. The first day covers featured imagery of historical nautical maps as well as two unique datestamps.
The premium collectable was the Limited Edition. It contained a booklet written by Neill Atkinson and gave an in-depth history of New Zealand’s maritime trade history. Neill was Chief Historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. He has written several books on New Zealand’s political, labour and transport history. Plate blocks of each of the five stamps were included within the booklet. This highly collectable Limited Edition also contained a special first day cover signed by Neill Atkinson, a unique numbered miniature sheet, a complete set of stamps and colour separations of the $2.90 stamp.
New Zealand Post acknowledged the following for their assistance and guidance in bringing together this special stamp release celebrating great voyages of New Zealand:
- Victor Young
- Alexander Turnbull Library
- Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena, University of Otago
- Real Journeys
- PIM Collection
- Museum of City and Sea
- Gavin McLean, Senior Historian, Manatū Taonga - Guest writer, presentation pack
- Neill Atkinson, Chief Historian, Manatū Taonga - Ministry for Culture and Heritage - Guest writer, Limited Edition
Product Listing for Great Voyages of New Zealand
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|Date of issue:||5 September 2012|
|Number of stamps:||Five gummed stamps|
|Stamps, miniature sheet, first day covers and presentation pack designed by:||Creature, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Denominations:||70c, $1.40, $1.90, $2.40 and $2.90|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||30mm x 40mm (horizontal)|
|Paper type:||Stamps: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper; Miniature sheet: Tullis Russell 104gsm non-phosphor gummed stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A and B formats.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 4 September 2013.|