The Millennium Collection

New Zealand Post issued this superb philatelic record to mark our move from one millenium to another.

Issue information

Several years ago, we began to plan a stamp collection that celbrated the turning of the millennium. New Zealand Post was committed to providing collectors with stanps that truly celebrated our heritage. Each of the six successive issues in the Millennium Series marked a special phase in the discovery, growth and development of our beautiful country.

The First to see the New Dawn issue of 1 January 2000 completed the millennium collection while opening an entirely new chapter in the ongoing story of New Zealand as told through our stamps. This special publication featured 60 pages of text, beautiful photography and illustrations to provide a lasting record of this special time in history.

The Collection

The collecton was housed in its own black, cloth-bound protective slip case. On the front of the bound album in plain de-bossing, each number of the 2000 symbol was set in a corner. Silver-foil stamping had been used for the Millennium Series symbol and album title. An embossed silver-foil plate in the centre of the cover described the latitude, longitude and time of the new millennium sunrise at Hakepa.

The individual mint stamps that made up each set in the collection and the special Millennium Series miniature sheets were in protective mounts and were preceded by translucent tracing paper subject pages.

The full collection consusted of 31 individual Millennium Series mint stamps and all six Millennium Series miniature sheets, each containing six stamps – a total of 67 in all.

Each collection had its own Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Elmar Toime, Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand Post at the time.

Six Special Showpieces for the Millenium Series

One of New Zealand Post’s best kept secrets in the recent years prior to 2000 was the existence of special Millennium Series miniature sheets. Each of these sheets were printed with the issues and quietly set aside, especially for this collection. These miniature sheets were only available with this album.

The Millennium Series

Part One: Discoverers – Date of Issue 12 February 1997

Into the unknown

They first came from the atolls and islands dotting the Pacific, then from the Netherlands, England and France. Each ventured out to seek an unknown and possibly legendary landfall. Regardless of their motives or their subsequent fame, all of these discoverers found what they were looking for: knowledge and a braoder, better understanding of their world.

Part Two: A New Beginning – Date of Issue 18 March 1988

The last empty land

New Zealand was the last major land area outside the polar regions to be occupied by humans. Occupation began a thousand years ago, involving, perhaps, a few thousand migrants who braved the south-west Pacific Ocean to get to New Zealand from central Polynesia. Today, almost everyone living in New Zealand is decended from someone who arrived within the last two centuries.

Part Three: Urban Transformation – Date of Issue 11 November 1988

A century of change

Wellington’s monochrome harbour and shaved hills transform into today’s colourful capital, crowded around the water’s edge. Auckland’s quay-side canoes are left behind by modern mirror glass and trophy towers. Christchurch’s fertile flats become city-centre skyscrapers. Westport’s ambling horse and cart gives way to the high-octane horsepower of a four-wheel-drive. Tauranga turns from a Victorian seaside resort into a modern, bustling, palm-laden shopping precinct. Dunedin buries its industrial past under proud civic buildings.

Part Four: Nostalgia – Date of Issue 10 March 1999

One last look back

Trams; the Railway tea cup; wireless quiz shows and the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly; ‘ten bob’ bank notes and the Saturday sound of Masport handmowers; Fun Ho! toys and marble games; Creamoata for breakfast and Royal Family cake tins. All were part of a daily life in a New Zealand in which many of us grew up, and recall with affection.

Part Five: Leading the Way – Date of Issue 17 November 1999

“What if... and why not?”

Challenging the accepted norms must surely rate as one of this country’s greatest strengths. It has allowed New Zealanders to reach the pinnacle of human endeavour on a bewildering number of fronts, from conquering mountains to splitting atoms and leading world opinion.

Part Six: First to see the New Dawn – Date of Issue 1 January 2000

A new millennium awakens

Before billions of other people around the globe saw the sun’s telltale rays, New Zealand greeted the new millennium. At 3.59 NZST, the sun rose over Pitt Island in the Chathams. Then, at 4.38 NZST, people were gathered upon sacred Mount Hikurangi on the New Zealand mainland to see those rays. Just eight minutes later, Gisborne was the first city in the world to witness the new dawn.

Product Listing for The Millennium Collection

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Book Album containing individual stamps an miniature sheets. Also included are stories behind the issues in the Millennium Series. $129.00

Technical information

Issue date: 1 January 2000
Stamp issues featured:
  • Discoverers – The Millennium Series Part One
  • A New Beggining – The Millenium Series Part Two
  • Urban Transformation – The Millennium Series Part Three
  • Nostalgia – The Millenium Series Part Four
  • Leading the Way – The Millennium Series Part Five
  • First to see the New Dawn – The Millenium Series