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

Military Uniforms

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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.

Issue information

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.

Image Title Description Price




Mint, used or cancelled sheetlet of 20 x 40c stamps.

The individual stamps in this issue were:

Single 40c 'Forest Rangers Officer, 1860's' gummed stamp.

Insets: 'Pillbox' cap and a silver FR (Forest Rangers) cap badge.
Medal: New Zealand Medal 1860-66.

Single 40c 'Lieutenant Commanding, Napier Naval Artillery Volunteer, 1890's' gummed stamp.

This officer is also a member of the Royal Naval Reserve.

Insets: Royal Naval Reserve Cap and Officer's button.
Medal: New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal.

Single 40c 'Amuri Mounted Rifles Officer, 2nd Regiment North Canterbury Mounted Rifles, 1900-1910' gummed stamp.

Insets: Black cloth helmet puggaree, with a gold 2nd Regiment North Canterbury Mounted Rifles helmet plate, and a cross belt plate of the North Canterbury Mounted Rifles.
Medal: New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal.

Single 40c 'Trooper 5th New Zealand South African Contingent, 1899-1902' gummed stamp.

Insets: Brass NZMR (New Zealand Mounted Rifles) shoulder titles, and the silver plate with the Royal Cypher in the centre which was part of a horse's bridle.
Medal: Queen's South Africa Medal.

Single 40c 'Staff Officer of the NZ Division, 1918' gummed stamp.

Insets: New Zealand Signal Corps (NZ Engineers) cap badge and a blue armlet with a silver fern worn by staff officers with Brigade HQ NZ Division.
Medal: Victory Medal.

Single 40c 'Petty Officer, 1914-18' gummed stamp.

Insets: Petty Officer rank insignia, with chevrons that indicate 8 years good conduct (top), Torpedoman badge (bottom).
Medal: Victory Medal.

Single 40c 'Rifleman of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade (NZRB), 1916-18' gummed stamp.

Insets: Brass NZRB shoulder titles, and soldier with the rank of corporal manning a trench.
Medal: Victory Medal.

Single 40c 'New Zealand Engineers (NZE) Sergeant, 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 1939-45' gummed stamp.

Insets: NZE grenade collar badge, and 2 NZEF brass 'Onward' cap badge.
Medal: New Zealand War Service Medal.

Single 40c 'Matron Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Hospital, 1940s' gummed stamp.

Insets: Lieutenant Commander rank straps, with red tips to indicate the wearer is a member of the medical branch. Unofficial hand embroidered anchor, from front corners of cape, to indicate naval association.
Medal: New Zealand War Service Medal.

Single 40c 'New Zealand Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), 1942' gummed stamp.

Inset: Green and black embroidered 'Onward' badge, and a NZFC (New Zealand Forces Club, Cairo).
Medal: New Zealand War Service Medal.

Single 40c 'RNZAF Bomber Pilot attached to Bomber Command (Royal Air Force), 1943' gummed stamp.

Insets: Escape compass (concealed in a button), RNZAF Pilot's badge.
Medal: New Zealand War Service Medal.

Single 40c 'Fighter Pilot, No 1 (Islands) Group RNZAF, Command Air South Pacific (COMAIRSOPAC), 1943' gummed stamp.

Insets: RNZAF Tropical Flying Helmet with oxygen mask, 14 Squadron badge.
Medal: New Zealand War Service Medal.

Single 40c 'Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) Driver, New Zealand, 1943' gummed stamp.

Insets: WAAF Beret, Hat badge.
Medal: New Zealand War Service Medal.

Single 40c 'Gunner 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA), Korea, 1950-53' gummed stamp.

Insets: RNZA brass cap badge, and a New Zealand Commonwealth arm brassard.
Medal: Korea Medal.

Single 40c 'Acting Petty Officer, HMNZS Tamaki, 1957' gummed stamp.

Insets: Trousers creased in particular fashion to facilitate easy stowage in a kit ocker. Standard Navy cap.
Medal: Korea Medal.

Single 40c 'New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) scouts Malaya, 1955-57' gummed stamp.

Inset: Jungle green hat.
Medal: General Service Medal 1918-1962 with clasp 'Malaya'.

Single 40c 'RNZAF Canberra Pilot in the Far East Air Force (Royal Air Force), Malayan Emergency, 1960' gummed stamp.

Insets: 75 Squadron badge, Protective Helmet with oxygen mask.
Medal: General Service Medal 1918 - 1962 with clasp 'Malaya'.

Single 40c 'Infantryman, Victor Company, 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, South Vietnam, 1960's' gummed stamp.

Insets: Jungle green hat.
Medal: Vietnam Medal.

Single 40c 'Infantryman, New Zealand Battalion, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), 2000' gummed stamp.

Insets: UN shoulder brassard, and UN base ball cap.
Medal: New Zealand East Timor Medal.

Single 40c 'New Zealand member of Peace Monitoring Group (PMG) Bougainville, 2001' gummed stamp.

Insets: PMG white dove badge, and yellow sun hat.
Medal: New Zealand General Service Medal (Peacekeeping Operations).

Miniature Sheet Booklet Collectable booklet containing a range of miniature sheets and further information on the stamp issue. $19.95
Set of First Day Covers Set of two first day covers with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $9.00
Pre-stamped Envelope Commemorative pre-stamped envelope. $0.90

Technical information

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
Perforation gauge: 14
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.