150 Years of New Zealand Stamps 1905 - 1955

These were 50 years of extraordinary contrast. On the one hand, the cataclysmic effects of War devastated the ranks of New Zealand's young men. On the other, during these same five decades, the aircraft came into its own, New Zealand showed its social conscience by issuing Health stamps and Queen Elizabeth II became the country's new Queen.

Issue information

2005 marked the 150th anniversary of New Zealand stamps. The set, the second in a series of three collections, featured the middle five of 15 landmark issues chosen to represent a century and a half of philatelic history. A must for philatelists, historians and proud New Zealanders everywhere.

Self-adhesive Stamps, Booklets and Dispenser

The 1906 The New Zealand Exhibition (45c) and the 1931 Health - Red Boy (90c) stamps were available as self-adhesives and self-adhesive booklets. You could also purchase the 1906 stamp in a 100-stamp self-adhesive dispenser.

Presentation Pack

The beautiful presentation pack had been specifically prepared for collectors. It included all five of the featured stamps, both first day covers and the miniature sheet, along with notes on each of the stamps and a more detailed look at the New Zealand of the time.

Miniature Sheet

All five stamps were featured on the miniatrue sheet. The miniature sheet brought history to life with a timeline that accompanied the stamps themselves, and featured key events and dates from these 50 years. The miniature sheets from each of the three issues in this series fitted together to bring you a historic overview of our philatelic past and present.

First Day Covers

Two first day covers, one which featured the five stamps, the other with a miniature sheet of the stamps from the middle 50 years of our philatelic history so far, were available. A dramatic record of years that began in splendour, descended to tragedy, but ultimately ended in hope and prosperity as the country's exports thrived.

Product Listing for 150 Years of New Zealand Stamps 1905-1955

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c '1906 One Penny The New Zealand Exhibition (claret)' gummed stamp.

Printed originally in this colour for The New Zealand International Exhibition of Arts and Industries in Christchurch, this issue was subsequently reprinted in vermilion. Just one sheet of these original One Penny Clarets were accidentally made available at the Exhibition. Stamps from that sheet are now highly sought after by collectors.

$0.45
Single Stamp

Single 90c '1931 One Penny Health - Red Boy' gummed stamp.

New Zealand health stamps were first issued in 1929, however it was this issue two years later that came to symbolise the country's health stamp issues worldwide. Despite the beautiful designs, this stamp and its accompanying Two Pence Blue sold considerably less than the earlier, or indeed later, issues - probably because of the effects of the Depression.

$0.90
Single Stamp

Single $1.35 '1935 Threepence Airmail' gummed stamp.

Airmail came into its own in New Zealand in the 1930s. This set, the second issued by New Zealand, features the 'Faith in Australia' piloted by Lieutenant Ulm landing at Bell Block Aerodrome in New Plymouth on 12 April 1934 after completing the first official air mail flight between Australia and New Zealand.

$1.35
Single Stamp

Single $1.50 '1946 Ninepence Peace - Southern Alps from Chapel Window' gummed stamp.

This beautiful stamp, part of a set released to celebrate the onset of peace, is striking for its wonderful viewpoint, looking out from the window of the Waiho Gorge chapel to the Southern Alps and the splendour of the Franz Joseph Glacier.

$1.50
Single Stamp

Single $2.00 '1955 Ten Shilling Queen Elizabeth II' gummed stamp.

With the passing of King George VI, New Zealand issued a new definitive issue to commemorate the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. The stamp was the highest value of the four issued for the occasion. In fact, this was New Zealand's first ever stamp of this value to be issued just for postage.

$2.00
Single Stamp

Single 45c '1906 One Penny The New Zealand Exhibition (claret)' self-adhesive stamp.

$0.45
Single Stamp

Single 90c '1931 One Penny Health - Red Boy' self-adhesive stamp.

$0.90
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $6.20
First Day Cover First day cover with five gummed stamps and two self-adhesive stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $8.05
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.70
Self-adhesive Dispenser Dispenser box containing 100 x 45c self-adhesive stamps. $45.00
Self-adhesive Booklet Booklet containing 10 x 45c self-adhesive stamps. $4.50
Self-adhesive Booklet Booklet containing 10 x 90c self-adhesive stamps. $9.00
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps. $29.95

Technical information

Date of issue: 6 April 2005
Number of stamps: Seven
Denominations and designs: 45c (gummed and self-adhesive) 1906 The New Zealand Exhibition, Christchurch (claret), 90c (gummed and self-adhesive) 1931 Health - Red Boy, $1.35 1935 Airmail, $1.50 1946 Peace - Southern Alps From Chapel Window, $2.00 1955 Queen Elizabeth II
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Totem Design, Wellington
Printer and process: Gummed: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand by offset lithography; Self-adhesive: Sprintpak, Australia Post by offset lithography
Numebr of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: Gummed: 40mm x 30mm (vertical); Self-adhesive: 30mm x 25mm (vertical)
Paper type: Gummed: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive rolls: WG65 self-adhesive stamp paperC100 Self-adhesive stamp paper; Self-adhesive booklets: C100 self-adhesive stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25; Booklets: 10 x 45c, 10 x 90c; Coils: 100 x 45c
Perforation gauge: 14 x 14
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B format.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 5 April 2006.