New Zealand Day

New Zealand Day - or Waitangi Day, is a national public holiday, a day to remind all New Zealanders of the heritage they hold in common, a day to be celebrated by Maori and Pakeha alike.

Issue information

The Treaty of Waitangi was the climax to a long series of events which finally led the then British Government with "extreme reluctance" to establish the sovereignty of the Crown over the islands of New Zealand.  When Captain William Hobson as Lieutenant Governor arrived at the Bay of Islands the northern chiefs were summoned to Waitangi for the purpose of negotiating a treaty.  After much explanation and discussion forty five chiefs signed the Treaty by drawing their moko, the tattooed design on each face, upon the parchment on 6 February 1840.

The hopes of the British Government that the Treaty would be an instrument of peace and conciliation were at the outset largely unfulfilled.  However, time and progress have helped to make up for the inadequacies of an otherwise ambitious venture into racial unification and today it can be fairly said that while the treaty itself may still be subject to dispute the spirit behind it has survived.

20c
Miniature Sheet consisting of five 4c stamps depicting the Treaty House at Waitangi; Parliament Buildings and the Beehive extension; Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II; Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; and New Zealand school children.

Stamp bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 11 in February 1974.

Acknowledgments: Bulletin scanned and provided by John Biddlecombe of the New Zealand Society of Great Britain. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link: http://www.nzsgb.org.uk/

Technical information

Date of Issue: 5 February 1974
Designers: D A Hatcher, Auckland and A G  Mitchell, Wellington
Printers: Harrison and Sons, England
Stamp Size: 24.13mm x 48.26mm
Sheet Size: 100 stamps per sheet
Process: Photogravure
Perforation Gauge: 13.25
Paper Type: Harrison and Sons, chalk surfaced, unwatermarked