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

Heritage - The Sea

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This issue titled 'The Sea' was another in the 'Heritage' series leading up to the 1990 150th anniversary celebrations in New Zealand. The sea has played, and continues to play, a significant part in our island life.

Issue information

Time and tide have truly shaped this land. Until 500 million years ago New Zealand was part of the seabed on the edge of a vast continent made up of Antarctica and Australia. Now it has risen as a series of broad ridges from the Pacific Ocean floor, 1,600 kilometres to the east of our nearest neighbour, Australia.

This relative geographical isolation gave the sea power to determine much of our social and economic history. A power that will surely continue long into the future.

Product listing for Heritage - The Sea

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Recreation' gummed stamp.

New Zealand enjoys an international reputation for prowess in water sports. Windsurfing is one of the most recent water activities our nation has taken to its heart, and our long coasts and favourable wind and sea conditions are ideal for it.

Single Stamp

Single 60c 'The Harvest' gummed stamp.

New Zealand's 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone, established in 1978, allows for the good management of this country's fisheries and covers 1.2 million square nautical miles. Many foreign fishing vessels fish under licence in New Zealand waters earning us significant revenue.

Single Stamp

Single 65c 'The Challenge' gummed stamp.

New Zealand is well-known for big game fishing off the east coast from North Cape to Hawke's Bay, where marlin, various sharks, tuna and kingfish lure the fisherman. But the small boy fishing off the end of a wharf gets just as big a thrill when he hooks a modest 'spottie'.

Single Stamp

Single 80c 'The Cradle' gummed stamp.

New Zealand has many harbours from the busy deep water ports to small fishing ports and marinas for pleasure craft, and when New Zealanders go on holiday they are never far from the sea.

Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Seascape' gummed stamp.

A feature of New Zealand's coastline is its staggering diversity, ranging from rugged cliffs, to sweeping golden and ironsand beaches, to bushclad hills falling to the water's edge, mangrove flats and long alluvial plains.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'The Highway' gummed stamp.

The first settlers in New Zealand, Maori and European, all arrived by sea. Only in the past 50 years has it been possible to arrive any other way. The early sailing ships were superseded by steam ships from the 1870s and only in the latter part of this century did rail, and later road transport, displace coastal shipping. Today, we still rely chiefly on the ocean highway to transport our produce to the world.

First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $5.20

Technical information


Date of issue: 11 October 1989
Designers: M Bailey, Auckland
Printers:  Leigh-Mardon, Australia
Stamp size: 40mm x 28mm
Sheet size: 100 stamps per sheet
Process: Lithography
Perforation gauge: 14 x 14.25
Paper type: Red phosphor coated, unwatermarked
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 11 October 1990