2011 Children's Health - Flightless Birds

New Zealand Post recognises that just as our native endangered flightless birds need our help in order to thrive, so too do the children that attend Health Camps around the country. It is for this reason that three of them featured in 2011's Children's Health stamps.

Issue information

As a supporter of Children’s Health Camps since 1929, New Zealand Post is proud to lend a hand once again with the 2011 Children's Health - Flightless Birds stamp issue. Te Puna Whaiora - the New Zealand Foundation for Child and Family Health and Development - specialises in helping at-risk children aged five to 12 to overcome barriers to healthy lifestyles. The 10-cent surcharge on each stamp in this issue went directly to Te Puna Whaiora's seven Children’s Health Camps throughout New Zealand, each playing a crucial role in helping children and their families in times of need.

The flightless birds featured on the stamps are also in need of love and support. The kiwi, kākāpō and takahē were all once more abundant and widely distributed throughout New Zealand than they are today. It’s only through the ongoing help of conservation programmes that we are now able to enjoy these unique and precious birds.

A Miniature Sheet with a Fascinating Story

The collection also included a takahē-shaped miniature sheet to remind us that with some support and encouragement both these birds and struggling children can emerge as stronger individuals.

While takahē once flourished in New Zealand, their numbers dwindled due to hunting and predation, and the species was presumed extinct by 1930. Fortunately, Dr Geoffry Orbell believed that this vulnerable bird was still living in the valleys of the Murchison Mountains. He eventually found the takahē in 1948 and the species re-emerged from the history books. Today, with the help of human hands, there are believed to be around 200 takahē in existence in Fiordland and on four predator-free islands off the New Zealand coast. There are also a few birds in captivity and on predator-fenced sanctuaries.

Collectable First Day Covers

The first day cover and miniature sheet first day cover beautifully depicted the takahē and kākāpō, and were the perfect addition to this inspiring collection.

Product Listing for 2011 Children's Health - Flightless Birds

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price

Single Stamp

Single 60c + 10c surcharge 'Kiwi' gummed stamp.

Easily identified by its long beak, round body and hair-like feathers, this nocturnal bird belongs to a group of birds called ratites and has been adopted as one of New Zealand's most national symbols. This stamp features the brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), one of five species of kiwi. 

$0.70
Single Stamp

Single $1.20 + 10c surcharge 'Kākāpō' gummed stamp.

The kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus) claims the titles of the heaviest parrot in the world, as well as the only flightless parrot. Unfortunately for the kākāpō, this rare bird alerts predators such as stoats to its presence due to its distinctive musty odour.

$1.30
Single Stamp

Single 60c + 10c surcharge 'Takahē' self-adhesive stamp.

With its blue and green feathers, red beak and stout legs, the takahē looks very similar to a pūkeko - only much bigger. The largest living member of the rail family, the takahē spends most of its days looking for nourishment in grass stalks, fern roots and insects.

$0.70
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $2.70
First Day Cover First day cover with three gummed stamps affixed. $3.20
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. $3.20

Technical information

Date of issue: 6 July 2011
Number of stamps: Two gummed stamps and one self-adhesive stamp
Denominations: 60c + 10c gummed and self-adhesive; $1.20 + 10c gummed
Stamps and first day covers designed by: Stamps and Collectables Business, New Zealand Post, Wellington
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: Gummed: 30mm x 35.7mm (horizontal); Self-adhesive: 25mm x 30mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper and Avery Dennison B90 kraft back WLK5 adhesive 250gsm stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: Gummed: 25; Self-adhesive: 100
Perforation gauge: 14
Special blocks: Plate/Imprint blocks were obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 5 July 2012.