2017 Year of the Rooster

The Year of the Rooster began on 28 January 2017, and was celebrated in New Zealand and around the world. The rooster symbolises character traits of confidence, courageousness and resourcefulness, and was the focus of these festive stamps and gold-foiled collectables. 

Issue information

The rooster was the tenth animal in the Chinese zodiac and those born in the Year of the Rooster are loyal, trustworthy, observant and keen to offer their opinions to those around them.

The four gummed stamps in this issue were inspired by the Chinese folk arts of calligraphy, paper-cutting and line-art illustration, and they celebrated the multicultural nature of New Zealand with both Chinese and New Zealand elements. The $2.70 stamp depicted Auckland War Memorial Museum, which was the venue for the Lantern Festival for the first time in 2016.

To add to the special nature of this issue, the sheets of stamps contained unique gutter-pairs.

Miniature Sheet and First Day Covers

The miniature sheet featured a traditional Chinese character in the background, which translates into a blessing meaning 'all the best'. The two first day covers both celebrated the Year of the Rooster in a festive red - a lucky colour in Chinese culture.

Presentation Pack

The presentation pack contained the set of stamps, the miniature sheet and the first day cover - as well as an intricate red paper-cut of a rooster. Inside, you could read all about the traits of those born in the Year of the Rooster, and what the year might bring.

Gold-foiled Collectables

As well as a vibrant stamp issue that continued on our popular lunar series, we’re also issued a range of gold-foiled collectables. These premium, limited-edition miniature sheets were made from 24-carat, 99.9-gold foil. They were replicas of the miniature sheet in the stamp issue, and were not part of the official stamp programme.

  • Two small gold-foiled miniature sheets were available - one in traditional gold, and one featuring colour. Both were housed in modern perspex stands and were produced in limited numbers.
  • Two large gold-foiled miniature sheets were also available. Each sheet was presented in a premium frame and were individually numbered (only 128 worldwide). Of the 128 available, 25 of the luckiest-numbered miniature sheets featured colour on the stamps - making them highly collectable and sought after.

A Gold-plated Medallion to Treasure

A limited edition, New Zealand Post-issued gold-plated medallion featured the calligraphic character for 'rooster' on one side, and an illustrated rooster with unique koru patterns on the other side.

This collectable medallion was limited to only 999 worldwide and came with an individually numbered certificate that explained the significance of the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese lunar calendar. It was presented in a specially designed case.

Product Listing for 2017 Year of the Rooster

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Calligraphy' gummed stamp.

The red colour of this stamp represented the traditional colour of Chinese New Year, which mirrors the positive holiday atmosphere. The calligraphic character of ‘rooster’ had been designed in a ‘paint-brush’ style and could be seen as a decorative element throughout Chinese New Year celebrations. The cloud patterns were employed extensively in all four stamp designs, and referenced New Zealand as ‘the land of the long white cloud’.

$1.00
Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'Paper-cut Rooster' gummed stamp.

One of the commonly used decorations for Chinese New Year is paper-cutting, which can be found everywhere from shop windows to private homes. The intricate art of paper-cutting dates back thousands of years in China, and the rooster depicted in this paper-cut symbolised a vibrant and positive start to the day. The Māori motifs incorporated into the paper-cut brought the diverse Māori and Chinese cultures together.

$1.80
Single Stamp

Single $2.20 'The Rooster' gummed stamp.

This illustrated rooster was rich with colour and incorporated various Māori and Pacific patterns, including koru, that are symbolic of new life. The black colour in the design reflected New Zealand’s national identity, and blends harmoniously with the red tones that are popular in Chinese culture. The attractive-looking rooster reacted the pride that those born in the Year of the Rooster take in their appearance.

$2.20
Single Stamp

Single $2.70 'Lantern Festival' gummed stamp.

The Auckland War Memorial Museum is located in Auckland Domain, which in 2016 was the venue for the Lantern Festival for the first time. Hundreds of handmade Chinese lanterns were displayed in front of the Domain and more than 100,000 people attended. The festivities included on-stage performances and Chinese art, handicrafts and delicacies, and culminated in an impressive reworks display.

$2.70
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $7.70
First Day Cover First day cover with four gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $8.20
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $8.20
Presentation Pack

The presentation pack made a beautiful gift for the Year of the Rooster. It contained the set of stamps, the miniature sheet and the first day cover - as well as an intricate red paper-cut of a rooster. Inside, you could read all about the traits of those born in the Year of the Rooster, and what the year might bring.

Still available to purchase. Click here.

$24.90
Gold Foiled Miniature Sheet in Perspex Stand Made from 24-carat 99.9 gold foil, this miniature sheet had been embossed and etched with micro fine detail and was mounted in a perspex display stand (measuring 18cm x 10cm).  $188.00
Gold Foiled Miniature Sheet with Coloured Stamp in Perspex Stand

Made from 24-carat 99.9 gold foil, this miniature sheet had been embossed and etched with micro fine detail and was mounted in a perspex display stand (measuring 18cm x 10cm). It featured vibrant coloured stamps and was produced in limited numbers.

Still available to purchase. Click here.

$288.00
Large Gold Foiled Miniature Sheet in Frame

This large miniature sheet was one of only 103 produced. It had been embossed and etched with micro fine detail from 24-carat 99.9 gold foil, and was presented within an individually numbered frame (measuring 39cm x 27cm).

Still available to purchase. Click here.

$560.00
Large Gold Foiled Miniature Sheet with Colour in Frame

This large miniature sheet was one of only 25 lucky-numbered miniature sheets to feature colour on the stamps. It had been embossed and etched with micro fine detail from 24-carat 99.9 gold foil, and was presented within an individually numbered frame (measuring 39cm x 27cm).

The available lucky numbers were: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 23, 28, 33, 38, 66, 77, 83, 88, 93, 98, 99, 100, 111, 118, 128.

Some individually lucky-numbered miniature sheets are still available to purchase. Click here.

$1,888.00
Gold Plated Medallion

This limited edition, gold-plated medallion featured the calligraphic character for ‘rooster’ on one side, and an illustrated rooster featuring unique koru patterns on the other side. This collectable medallion was limited to only 999 worldwide and came with an individually numbered certificate that explained the significance of the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese lunar calendar. It was presented in a specially designed case.

Still available to purchase. Click here.

$69.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 11 January 2017
Number of stamps: Four gummed stamps
Denominations: $1.00, $1.80, $2.20, $2.70
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Asiaworks, Auckland, New Zealand
Printer and process: RA Printing, Melbourne, Australia 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
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 10 January 2018.