1873 Newspaper Stamp
Originally there was no charge for newspapers forwarded through the post
for delivery within New Zealand. However, with the number of newspapers
posted frequently dwarfing paid mail, the Post Office decided it had to
charge for newspaper delivery. A rate of one penny was imposed in 1864 and
dropped again in 1865 due to public pressure, only to be reinstated in
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Inspired by the English 1870 halfpence newspaper stamp, a
decision was made in 1872 to reduce the cost of newspaper delivery and to
produce a similar stamp.
The stamp was designed by the Government
Printer, John Davies based on the English newspaper stamp. A woodblock die
was carved in Melbourne, Australia, and electrotypes were produced from it
by W.H. Kirk in Wellington making this the first stamp where the design,
printing plate preparation and printing plates themselves were completed in
The stamps were printed for 22 years. For 17 of those a
special purpose paper watermarked with a six-rayed irregular star was used.
This page was last updated on 23 Jan 2019
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