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

MV Mataliki Tokelau 2016

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Tokelau’s population of approximately 1,400 relies entirely on shipping for the transport of passengers and goods, as there are no flights to and from the atolls. 

Issue information

This nautically inspired stamp issue celebrated Tokelau’s ferry MV Mataliki, which set off from Apia, Samoa on 3 February 2016 on its first journey to Tokelau. 


Mataliki was specifically designed with a focus on passenger transport, and a greater number of proper berths were established. The ship provides more comfort during the 24-hour journey than previous vessels, with larger seats and sleeping areas. As well as having a cargo deck, the design of the ferry included a sick room for medical evacuations between hospitals, and mounted solar panels to help reduce power consumption.

A Closer Look at MV Mataliki

Alongside the set of four stamps in this issue there are a miniature sheet, a first day cover and a miniature sheet first day cover. Resembling a blueprint, the miniature sheet first day cover delves into MV Mataliki’s technical specifications. The first day cover focuses on the lengthy round trip that Mataliki takes from Apia, Samoa to Tokelau’s three atolls.  

Product Listing for MV Mataliki Tokelau 2016 

Click on image to enlarge.


Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c 'MV Mataliki ' gummed stamp.

Commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, MV Mataliki is an international passenger ship. The ferry, which was custom made by Western Marine Shipyard, can transport up to 60 international passengers and 120 passengers between atolls, as well as seven 10-foot shipping containers.

Single Stamp

Single $1.40 'Plain sailing from Apia' gummed stamp.

MV Mataliki’s standard round trip begins in Apia, Samoa then it sails onto Fakaofo, Nukunonu and Atafu, Tokelau’s three atolls. The ferry travels at up to 11.5 knots, taking around 24 hours to complete the first leg of the journey from Apia to Fakaofo and four to six hours between villages, a slightly shorter trip than its predecessor’s.


Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Freight' gummed stamp.

Growing and harvesting crops in the coral atolls of Tokelau is difficult. Therefore Tokelau imports fresh crops and other essentials from neighbouring Samoa. Although MV Mataliki operates mainly as a passenger ferry, it can also carry up to 490 tonnes of cargo.

Single Stamp

Single $3.00 'The final leg' gummed stamp.

Tokelau’s three atolls are surrounded by fringing reef, which no ferries or freighters can enter, meaning all freight and passengers are transported to land by barge. All passengers are made to wear lifejackets while on board the barge - safety first!

Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled gummed miniature sheet. $6.85
First Day Cover First day cover with four gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.35
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.35

Technical information

Date of issue: 3 August 2016
Number of stamps: Four gummed stamps
Denominations: 45c, $1.40, $2.00 and $3.00
Stamps and first day covers designed by:  Hannah Stancliffe-White, New Zealand Post Limited, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer: Collectables and Solutions Centre, New Zealand Post, Whanganui, New Zealand.
Number of colours: Four process colours  
Stamp size and format: 34.55 x 35mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 12
Perforation gauge: 14.28 x 14.47
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 2 August 2017.