Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins
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New Zealand Native Seaweeds

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New Zealand’s unique marine environment is home to nearly 900 species of native seaweed, a third of which occur nowhere else in the world. Five of these native seaweeds were celebrated in this unique stamp issue.

Issue information

Seaweeds are an essential part of New Zealand’s marine ecosystem, providing food, habitats and shelter to a wide variety of marine life.

The New Zealand Native Seaweeds stamp issue reflected New Zealand’s remarkable marine biodiversity, and the five unique seaweeds portrayed are Hormosira banksii, Landsburgia quercifolia, Caulerpa brownii, Marginariella boryana and Pterocladia lucida. Each of the species is beautifully illustrated on a gummed stamp that contained the scientific name of the seaweed.

Native Marine Treasures of New Zealand

You could enjoy the New Zealand Native Seaweeds stamp issue further through the miniature sheet, first day cover and the miniature sheet first day cover. Each of these collectables featured illustrations of various seaweeds including a depiction of Durvillaea antarctica, Macrocystis pyrifera and Lessonia variegata on the first day cover, and the red Asparagopsis armata on the miniature sheet first day cover.

Product Listing for New Zealand Native Seaweeds

Image Title Description Price
  Single Stamp

Single 70c 'Hormosira banksii' gummed stamp.

Discovered by English naturalist, Sir Joseph Banks, Hormosira banksii is a common sight on New Zealand’s intertidal shores. Its distinctive beads have earned this seaweed many nicknames, including Neptune’s necklace, Neptune’s pearls, sea grapes and bubbleweed. Its beads are filled with gas, allowing them to float to obtain more sunlight.

  Single Stamp

Single $1.40 'Landsburgia quercifolia' gummed stamp.

Landsburgia quercifolia is easily recognisable by its oak-shaped leaves, and is endemic to New Zealand waters. Found mostly around the subtropical Three Kings Islands, this robust seaweed can grow to an impressive 1.5 metres tall, although it grows only in subtidal areas, in deep water.

  Single Stamp

Single $1.90 'Caulerpa brownii' gummed stamp.

Named after its discoverer, British collector Robert Brown, Caulerpa brownii is sometimes called sea rimu due to its resemblance to rimu foliage. This large species is found in mainly tropical and subtropical locations, growing to about 30 centimetres in height.

  Single Stamp

Single $2.40 'Marginariella boryana' gummed stamp.

Marginariella boryana, endemic to New Zealand, is the largest of these five seaweeds, growing to more than two metres in length. Found along one edge of its slender, strap-like branches are narrow, golden reproductive structures, shaped like small cigars.

  Single Stamp

Single $2.90 'Pterocladia lucida' gummed stamp.

Pterocladia lucida is more commonly known as agar weed, named for agar for which it is harvested. This rich, dark red, sometimes iridescent plant grows to somewhere between 30 and 50 centimetres in height, although it can vary greatly in overall width and size.

  Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled gummed miniature sheet. $9.30
  First Day Cover First day cover with five gummed stamps affixed. $9.80
  Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. $9.80
  Presentation Pack

The presentation pack featured the five gummed stamps, the first day cover and the miniature sheet. It also contains in-depth information regarding the five unique seaweeds depicted, along with facts about the seaweeds. The pack is written by phycologist Wendy Nelson – one of the Programme Leaders at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, and a Professor at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland.


Technical information

Date of issue: 5 February 2014
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Stamps, miniature sheet, first day covers and presentation pack designed by: 2Di4 Design, Wellington, New Zealand
Denominations: 70c, $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 (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper 
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 14
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 4 February 2015.
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