1991 Health

The 1991 Health Issue featured Hector's Dolphins named after Sir James Hector, a notable 19th century New Zealand scientist. Anyone who has ever seen a wild dolphin understands why these beautiful sea mammals evoke such strong feelings of affection. They are intelligent, warm blooded creatures who breath the same air as us, and, like us, have a sophisticated form of communication.

Issue information

In their natural environment dolphins seem to enjoy entertaining us. Pelorous Jack and Opo are both known to New Zealanders as famous, friendly dolphins who won a place in our hearts, and our history, with their antics. Hector's Dolphins are easily distinguished by their distinctive black, grey and white markings. They are a small dolphin species, with a rounded dorsal fin. And like most dolphins, they will escort a boat into harbour or follow inshore fishing vessels.

Hector's Dolphin is found only in New Zealand waters and only in small numbers. Although the species ranges from Kaipara Harbour to Foveaux Strait, they are most often seen around the South Island. Only three to four thousand of these beautiful creatures exist. A tiny number with which to guarantee the continuation of the species, and a good reason for concern about their survival.

Hector's Dolphin prefers to stay close to the coast, seldom swimming more than eight kilometres off shore. These shallow waters are the dolphins' home - their feeding grounds and the place where they breed. And it is here that they are in most danger of being entangled and drowned in gillnets.

The miniature sheet included two examples of each of the two stamps in this issue. The background illustration depicted the nets which are threatening the survival of New Zealand's unique Hector's Dolphin. The proceeds of the health value of these health stamps were donated to the Children's Health Camps movement. 

Product listing for 1991 Health

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c + 5c 'Hector's Dolphin' gummed stamp.

They are intelligent, warm blooded creatures who breathe the same air as us.

$0.50
Single Stamp

Single 80c + 5c 'Hector's Dolphin' gummed stamp.

They prefer to stay close to the coast, seldom swimming more than eight kilometres off shore - these shallow waters are the dolphins' home.

$0.85
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $2.70
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $1.60
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $2.95

Technical information

Date ofiIssue: 24 July 1991
Designers: Heather Arnold, Auckland, NZ
Printer: Leigh Mardon, Australia
Stamp size: 34.5mm x 29mm 
Miniature sheet size: 114mm x 99mm
Sheet size:  100 stamps per sheet; Miniature Sheet of four stamps
Process: Lithography
Perforation gauge: 14.25
Paper type: Coated Papers, red phosphor coated, unwatermarked
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 24 July 1992.