2007 Year of the Pig

Although not native to New Zealand, pigs have been part of our landscape for more than 200 years. In 1769, French explorer Jean Francois-Marie de Surville gave two piglets to a Māori chief, and within five years English navigator James Cook had brought more to our shores. Since then, pigs have become more than just livestock – for many Kiwis they are family pets.

Issue information

In this delightful stamp issue – and in celebration of the Chinese Year of the Pig in 2007 – we looked at three pigs that New Zealand is proud to call its own. All three are remnants of earlier introductions that have, through isolation, developed unique qualities and characteristics – and along the way, gained enthusiastic support that has ensured their survival in a world where commercial production considerations would have ended their continued existence.

Gathering the Herd

The first day cover for this stamp issue combined the five stamps with a photograph of two kunekune pigs and the Chinese character for ‘pig’.

A Pair of Porcine Beauties

The Year of the Pig miniature sheet presented two of the five stamps in this issue – the $2.00 kunekune pig and the $1.50 Auckland Island pig – accompanied by an intricate illustration of the 12 animals that make up the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

The miniature sheet also featured on a special first day cover – the 11th consecutive year that New Zealand Post marked the Chinese Lunar Calendar in this way.

Read All About It

For a more detailed look at New Zealand pigs – and the Year of the Pig – you would have obtained a copy of a gorgeously rendered presentation pack.

It combined the colours and styles of the East with our contemporary stamps, and included the five stamps, the miniature sheet and the two first day covers.

And for the Discerning Collector...

The 2007 Year of the Pig limited edition (only 2,000 of these beautiful packs were produced) contained a set of five stamps, a numbered limited edition first day cover, a miniature sheet, miniature sheet first day cover, colour separations of the $2.00 stamp and detailed commentary on pigs and their place in our lives.

Product Listing for 2007 Year of the Pig

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c 'Kunekune pig' gummed stamp.

The endearingly cute kunekune (the Māori word for ‘plump’) is the most popular of New Zealand’s non-commercial pig breeds. With its rotund, pot-bellied body, short legs, upturned snout and lower-jaw ‘tassels’, it has a wonderfully comical appearance – and its placid and intelligent nature, combined with a passion for food and a good scratch, makes it an adorable and adored pet.

$0.45
Single Stamp

Single 90c 'Kunekune pig' gummed stamp.

Kunekune pigs, which are almost certainly of Asian origin, were probably introduced to New Zealand by whalers or traders very early in European settlement times. In 1984, 18 were collected to become part of a captive breeding programme, and most of the kunekune found in New Zealand today are their descendents. Kunekune have also been exported to proud owners in the United Kingdom, United States and Europe.

$0.90
Single Stamp

Single $1.35 'Arapawa pig' gummed stamp.

No one really knows the exact origin of how the feral pigs of Arapawa Island (in the Marlborough Sounds) got there, but it has been suggested that they are descendents of animals released in the area by James Cook 1773 and 1777. Once critically endangered, they are now protected by the Arapawa Wildlife Sanctuary, a 120-hectare park that’s home to about 100 globally endangered animals. However, there are thought to be no more than 100 Arapawa pigs both on and off the Island, so the survival of this rare breed is by no means assured.

$1.35
Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Auckland Island pig' gummed stamp.

Pigs were introduced to Auckland Island (more than 300 kilometres south of New Zealand) in 1807 as a source of food for whalers and shipwrecked sailors. Subsequent introductions led to a thriving population, which in the 1990s came under threat through a Department of Conservation extermination programme. Seventeen were rescued and brought back to the mainland where, thanks to a selective breeding programme, their future is looking bright.

$1.50
Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Kunekune pig' gummed stamp.

The kunekune pig featured on the $2.00 stamp is Ruby, the Champion Junior Sow of the 2005 Canterbury A&P Show. Just five months old when this photograph was taken, she already displayed the typical kunekune colouring, with shades of brown, black and cream. The texture of the coat changes with the season, often becoming thicker and longer in winter.

$2.00
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet ($1.50 and $2.00 stamps only). $3.50
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.70
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $4.00
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps. $24.95
Limited Edition Limited edition collectable containing exclusive stamp products not available anywhere else. $135.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 7 February 2007
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Denominations and designs: 45c, 90c, $1.35, $1.50, $2.00
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Cue Design, Wellington
Lunar illustrator:  Lindy Fisher, Auckland, New Zealand
Printer and process: Australia Post, Sprintpak, by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 40.28mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell Helecon 3336 phosphor stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 14 x 14.4
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 formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 6 February 2008.