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

Town Icons

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The true essence of New Zealand is captured in the initiative and friendliness of the country's many small towns. 

Issue information

Many communities are fiercely proud of their identity, and have gone to quite extraordinary lengths to keep their spirit alive and to put themselves on the map with powerful visual statements that signal to passers-by just who they are.

Product Listing for Town Icons

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Image Title Description Price
First Day Cover First day cover with ten self-adhesive stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $4.50
Self-adhesive Booklet

Booklet containing 10 x 40c self-adhesive stamps.

The individual stamps in this issue were:

Lake Tekapo's Border Collie

The area around Lake Tekapo was, in part, made viable as a farming area by the wonderful sheep-herding abilities of border collies. This bronze sheepdog, on the lookout near the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, is often referred to as Friday - a border collie famous in local mythology.

Riverton's Paua Shell

This giant shellfish on the roadside at Riverton was originally intended to draw attention to a local family's souvenir shop, which specialises in paua products. Since then, the four metre high shell has taken on a new status, and is now seen by many to represent the entire town.

Hawera's Cow

Hawera's 'Big Cow' can be found two kilometres south of the township, on the corner of Whareroa Road and State Highway 3. The 'Big Cow' also draws attention to the Dairyland Visitors Centre and Cafe, and Kiwi Dairies' manufacturing site.

Te Puke's Kiwifruit

This gigantic slice of kiwifruit was one of the country's earliest big roadside icons and can be found in Te Puke - the self-appointed 'Kiwifruit Capital of the World'.

Gore's Brown Trout

Gore's giant brown trout leaps from giant rocks at the northernmost entrance to the town's main shopping area. It is 6.5 metres tall and weighs one tonne.

Te Kuiti's Shearer

Having produced more than its fair share of Golden Shears Open and New Zealand Shearing Championships winners over the years, Te Kuiti claims to be 'The Shearing Capital of New Zealand'. This 6 metre tall roadside shearer celebrates that status.

Napier's Pania

Napier's Pania of the Reef was inspired by a Māori legend. Pania was a member of the Sea People but met a human named Karitoki and left the waters to live on land with her lover. Her people lured her back to their world, and would not let her return to the land and the man she loved.

Ohakune's Carrot

The Ohakune region produces two-thirds of all the carrots grown in the North Island. Local carrot growers were determined to celebrate this achievement. They did so by rescuing and relocating a 9 metre tall carrot built as a prop for a television commercial.

Paeroa's L&P Bottle

Paeroa spring water was first sold in the late 1880's by the Paeroa Natural Mineral Water Company. Later owners added lemon essence to make Lemon and Paeroa. Today those entering the town are greeted by a seven metre tall L&P bottle.

Kaikoura's Crayfish

Kaikoura has long been associated with crayfish. In fact the word translates as 'eat crayfish'. Determined to remind everyone that the cray was the town's traditional icon, Annette Paterson, the proprietor of the Suntrap Restaurant and Takeaways, built this massive seven metre-long crustacean over the entrance.

Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps. $6.75
Self-adhesive Booklet
Self-adhesive Booklet

Technical information

Date of issue: 7 October 1998
Denominations and designs: Ten 40c self-adhesive stamps featuring the Paeroa L&P Bottle, Ohakune Carrot, Gore Browm Trout, Kaikoura Crayfish, Te Kuiti Shearer, Napier Pania of the Reef, Riverton Paua Sheel, Te puke Kiwifruit, Tekapo Sheepdog and Hawera Cow
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Donna McKenna, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Australia Post - Sprintpak, Australia, by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process and one special colour
Stamp size and format: Paeroa L&P Bottle and Ohakune Carrot - 25mm x 50mm (vertical); Gore Brown Trout, Kaikoura Crayfish, Te Kuiti Shearer and Napier Pania of the Reef - 26mm x 37mm (vertical); Riverton Paua Shell, Te Puke Kiwifruit, Tekapo Sheepdog and Hawera Cow - 25mm x 30mm (vertical)
Number of stamps per booklet: 10
Perforation gauge: Die cut
Paper type: Self-adhesive red phosphor coated stamp paper
Cost of unadressed first day cover with ten self-adhesive stamps: $4.50
Special blocks: Limited quantities of two and four self-adhesive stamp blocks cut from the jumbo roll were available on a 'first come, first served' basis.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 7 October 1999.