The Matariki 2012 stamp issue paid tribute to Māori rock art - a unique art form that gives fascinating insights into the earliest people of Aotearoa.
Matariki is celebrated throughout New Zealand, but in the south, Puaka (Rigel, part of the Orion constellation) appears in the sky at the same time as Matariki, and is widely acknowledged.
Māori rock art is visible throughout the country and the stamps in this issue depicted examples of rock art documented in Te Waipounamu (the South Island) where more than 500 sites have been recorded to date.
Rock art is applied to a variety of stone types, and while the common perception is that rock art was created using a burnt stick, the majority of the ‘drawings’ in Te Waipounamu appear to have been applied as pigment in solution. The style of Māori rock art is similar to that from wider Polynesia, suggesting that it was a practice brought to New Zealand by its earliest people.
Stamps Reflecting New Zealand's Past
Māori rock art gives a glimpse of New Zealand’s history and culture, and the drawings included on the six self-adhesive stamps in this issue portrayed animals now long extinct, representations of everyday life and depictions of the supernatural.
The rauru (spiral design) on the stamps paid respect to Rangi and Papa, and the light and knowledge that came about from their separation. The colours used in the rauru reflect the land and environment, and the koru represent growth and life and pay respect to the past, present and future.
New Zealand Post was the principal sponsor of the Auckland and Wellington Matariki festivals.
New Zealand Post wishes to acknowledge the following for their assistance and guidance in bringing together this special stamp issue: Matariki 2012- Māori Rock Art:
- Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua, Te Rūnanga o Waihao, Te Rūnanga o Moeraki - for permission to celebrate the rock art images from their takiwa
- The Trustees of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust
- Amanda Symon, Curator, Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Trust - Guest writer
- Brian Allingham, Field Officer, South Island Māori Rock Art Project - Guest writer
- Tewera King - Te Reo translation
- Rob Brown - Photographer
- Dave Burke - Stamp designer
Product Listing for Matariki 2012 - Māori Rock Art
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||6 June 2012|
|Number of stamps:||Six self-adhesive stamps|
|Stamps, miniature sheet, first day covers and presentation pack designed by:||Dave Burke Design, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Denominations:||70c (x2), $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:||Self-adhesive: Tullis Russell PSA red phosphor stamp paper 210gsm; Gummed miniature sheets printed on Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||13.33 x 13.60|
|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 5 June 2013.|