For more than 140 years, New Zealand's armed services have played a vital role in defending and protecting both our own and others' shores. And just as history has meant a continually changing military landscape, so too our uniforms have evolved.
This stamp issue illustrated 20 of the uniforms worn by New Zealand's army, air force and navy personnel in combat and peacekeeping operations - and in countries ranging from South Africa to those of Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. From Forest Rangers in 1860, to UN Peace Monitors in 2001, the uniforms of New Zealand's armed forces have always reflected a strong tie with the United Kingdom. Today the same heritage remains and is complemented by New Zealand cultural influences. For example, our national symbols like the 'silver fern' or 'kiwi' now have pride of place along with traditional regimental emblems.
The stamps also included distinctive uniform details as well as the service medals relevant for each period - a fascinating glimpse of the heroes of our nation. On the reverse of each stamp was a brief description of the uniform and the medal depicted.
First Day Covers of Distinction
Each of the two Military Uniforms first day covers displayed 10 stamps.
Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers - A Centenary of Service Commemorative Pre-Stamped Envelope
In 2003 New Zealand Post honoured a remarkable anniversary with a special commemorative envelope.
For 100 years the Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers had played a vital role in building and developing the country's essential infrastructure and providing essential support to our war efforts overseas.
New Zealand's military engineers - also known as sappers - have a distinguished record of courage, dedication and exemplary service. Their contribution to military operations overseas has included laying and lifting mines and building roads, railroads, bridges and ports in conflicts including the South Afrrican War, World Wars I and II, Korea and the Malayan emergency. More recently, their work has extended to United Nations peacekeeping and de-mining operations in countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and East Timor.
A Proud Record
You could find out more about New Zealand's illustrious military history in a comprehensive miniature sheet booklet.
Spanning the last 140 years, the booklet related the story of the nations's armed forces and their role in New Zealand's and the world's major miitary events.
It told of New Zealand's close links with Great Britain which dominated much of our involvements in early 20th century wars. Conflicts such as the South African War and World Wars I and II saw large contingents travelling far and wide to fight in the name of peace; many thousands of New Zealanders were to perform with distinction, and many were never to return home.
The booklet included five miniature sheets which incorporated two examples each of the 20 stamps. Illustrated throughout with photographs that marked the passage of time, it was a superb story of our allegiances and our place in the world.
Product Listing for Military Uniforms
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||2 April 2003|
|Number of stamps:||20|
|Denominations and designs:||20 x 40c stamps with copy on each uniform on reverse|
|Stamps and first day cover designed by:||Ross Jones, Watermark|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours, one colour reverse|
|Stamp size and format:||30mm x 40mm (portrait)|
|Paper type:||De la Rue 103gsm red phosphor stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||20|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint, A and B barcode, logo and value blocks were supplied as one sheet of 20 stamps.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 1 April 2004.|