50 Years of Friendship: New Zealand and Samoa

New Zealand and Samoa share a special relationship that is underpinned by the 1962 Treaty of Friendship. 2012 marked 50 years of this important partnership, and New Zealand Post celebrated with this unique stamp issue.

Issue information

The links between New Zealand and Samoa not only stem from the fact that they are close Pacific neighbours, but are also due to the large number of New Zealanders of Samoan descent living in New Zealand. In 2012 Samoans made up around 50 per cent of New Zealand’s Pacific Island population and the arts and culture of Samoa have become a distinctive voice in New Zealand society.

Each of the five stamps featured a contemporary view of a selu tuiga – a head comb that takes the shape of a traditional tuiga. A tuiga is a Samoan headdress that is worn at important events by the mānaia (son) or the taupou (daughter) of the high chief of the village. The tuiga is a unique symbol of the chiefly nature of Samoan society, and a significant number of tuiga were worn when Samoa gained independence.

Elements of Samoa’s unique culture were crafted by the stamp and coin designer, Michel Tuffery MNZM, into each of the selu tuiga featured on the stamps. These elements include key Samoan cultural frameworks, traditional Samoan arts, architecture, heritage and agriculture.

Michel Tuffery lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand (Aotearoa), and is a famous multi-disciplinary artist of Samoan, Rarotongan and Tahitian heritage. Tuffery has established himself as a diverse and critical creative practitioner within contemporary New Zealand and Pacific Island art, and his work features in major public and private collections globally.

A Samoan Touch Added to Your Collection

The first day cover, miniature sheet and miniature sheet first day cover were the perfect additions to this unique stamp issue. The background of the first day covers featured imagery of siapo (also known as tapa). Siapo is one of the oldest Samoan decorative art forms and a symbol of Samoan culture (and it is also used on the background of each stamp).

The Samoan Maota Fono and the New Zealand Beehive were prominent in the design of the stamp first day cover, while the miniature sheet featured tatau motifs as well as taupau and mānaia wearing tuiga at an ‘ava (kava) ceremony.

Presentation Pack

The presentation pack was the ultimate collectable in the 50 Years of Friendship: New Zealand and Samoa stamp issue. Inside was a complete set of stamps, the miniature sheet and the first day cover. It was also a great way to find out more about Samoan culture and its links to New Zealand. It was written in both Samoan and English by Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, Senior Lecturer, Programme Director Samoan Studies, Va'aomanu Pasifika, Victoria University of Wellington.

To view a video interview of Michel Tuffery on the design of the stamps and coin for this issue click here.

Acknowledgements

New Zealand Post wishes to acknowledge the following for their assistance and guidance in bringing together this special stamp issue: '50 Years of Friendship: New Zealand and Samoa'.

  • Michel Tuffery MNZM - Stamp and coin designer http://www.micheltuffery.co.nz/
  • Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, Senior Lecturer, Programme Director Samoan Studies, Va'aomanu Pasifika, Victoria University of Wellington - Guest writer and translator
  • New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Manatū Aorere
  • The Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Creative New Zealand - Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa

Interview with the Designer Michel Tuffery MNZM

Commemorative Coins

Take a look at the commemorative coins that were also part of this issue. Click here to find out more.
 

Product Listing for 50 Years of Friendship: New Zealand and Samoa

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 70c 'Fu'a' gumed stamp.

Fu’a is the Samoan word for flag and the fu’a of independence flies in front of the original Samoan Maota Fono or Parliament House. This Maota Fono was built in the shape of a circular Samoan meeting house. Chiefs and orators have discussed issues in a circular manner since time immemorial – making the form of the circle a traditional and sacred symbol.

$0.70
Single Stamp

Single $1.40 'Niu' gummed stamp.

The coconut tree or niu is a very important tree for sustenance. For thousands of years, the lives of the Samoan people depended on this tree of life. It provided food, milk and oil as well as shelter, baskets and other woven artefacts used by Samoans in their everyday lives.

$1.40
Single Stamp

Single $1.90 'Maota' gummed stamp.

The Maota Fa’amasino or the Courthouse building is 110 years old, and one of the oldest buildings in the city of Apia. The building was built by the Germans in 1902 and has seen two foreign administrations (Germany and New Zealand) occupy it, before Samoans took over after gaining independence from New Zealand.

$1.90
Single Stamp

Single $2.40 'Tatau' gummed stamp.

Traditional Samoan tatau (tattoo) motifs and patterns are taken from nature. There are the tulī (godwit) bird, the centipede, the trochus shell and the ‘aso, the rafters of a fale on to which thatches are lashed, and a number of other shapes including a va’a (twohulled canoe) that sits at the top on the back of a male tatau.

$2.40
Single Stamp

Single $2.90 'Malumalu' gummed stamp.

Malumalu o le Atua means ‘church building’ and the Catholic Church’s Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral at Mulivai was a symbol of spiritual sustenance that graced the shoreline of Apia Harbour. Sadly, the Cathedral was demolished after 127 years, when the 8.1-magnitude earthquake of September 2009 shook it to an irreparable state.

$2.90
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled gummed miniature sheet. $9.30
First Day Cover First day cover with five gummed stamps affixed. $9.80
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. $9.80
Presentation Pack Presentation pack including five gummed stamps, the miniature sheet and the first day cover. The presentation pack contained in-depth information about Samoan culture and its links to New Zealand which have been written in both Samoan and English by Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, Senior Lecturer Programme Director Samoan Studies, Va'aomanu Pasifika, Victoria University of Wellington. $29.90

Technical information

Date of issue: 1 August 2012
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Stamps, miniature sheet, first day covers and presentation pack designed by: Michel Tuffery MNZM, Wellington, New Zealand
Denominations: 70c, $1.40, $1.90, $2.40 and $2.90
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 40mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 14 x 14
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 31 July 2013.