Space Pioneers

These fun stamps celebrate six of New Zealand’s astronomers, cosmologists, discoverers and rocket scientists. They have been topped off with a sprinkling of crushed meteorite and together form a rocket ship shape in a se-tenant strip.

$1.20 Beatrice Hill Tinsley:Pioneer astrophysicist Beatrice Hill Tinsley was a world-leader in modern cosmology. Her 114 published papers are regularly cited today, showing her ongoing contribution to understanding the Universe. Mt Tinsley in Fiordland was named in her honour.

$1.20 Alan Gilmore and Pamela Kilmartin:Active comet and nova-hunters, Alan Gilmore and Pamela Kilmartin discovered 41 minor planets. They also established a programme for tracking near-Earth asteroids and southern comets from New Zealand. Alan is also a member of the prestigious International Astronomical Union.

$2.40 Charles Gifford:Charles Gifford was New Zealand’s most outstanding astronomer in the first half of the 20th century. Using mathematics, he showed that the Moon’s craters were made by meteorite impact.

$3.00 Albert Jones, OBE:Albert Jones made more visual brightness estimates than anyone in history. With a telescope he built in 1948, he looked at more than 500,000 stars, and discovered two comets and a supernova.

$3.60 William Pickering, ONZ KBE:Pioneer of world’s space exploration, William Pickering launched America’s first spacecraft. He was instrumental in the success of the Apollo programme and the Voyager missions and retired to see Viking 1 on its way to Mars. Mount Pickering Summit, in Fiordland, was named in his honour.

Date of Issue: 1st May 2019

Alpine Flora

$1.20 Mountain buttercup (Ranunculus insignis):This plant is found in the North and South Islands in subalpine regions, and on the Kaikōura coast. Its yellow flowers measure 2-5cm across and the dark green leaves have hairy, toothed edges.

$1.20 Penwiper plant (Notothlaspi rosulatum):The penwiper plant thrives in inhospitable South Island scree slopes. Hard to spot when not in bloom, it produces sweet-smelling white blossoms that surround a central stalk.

$1.20 Black scree button daisy (Leptinella atrata subsp. atrata):Found in open screes from North Canterbury to North Otago, the is plant is unusual among New Zealand native alpine flora due to the attractive, dark purple hue of its flowers.

$2.40 Woollyhead (Craspedia incana):This rosette forming, summer-flowering daisy is found on the alpine screes of eastern Marlborough and Canterbury. Its flower heads are yellow and the foliage is covered in thick felt-like hairs.

$3.00 Mt Cook lily (Ranunculus lyallii):One of New Zealand’s most well-recognised alpine plants, the world’s largest buttercup can grow over one metre tall.

$3.60 Moss-dwelling forget-me-not (Myosotis bryonoma)

One of three new forget-me-not species discovered in 2018, this plant has only been found in mossy, damp-to-saturated high-elevation mountain areas in Central Otago.


$1.20 Pouto lighthouse:Erected in 1884, New Zealand’s oldest wooden lighthouse was built in an area with a history of over 150 shipwrecks. Decommissioned some years ago, it is now maintained by Heritage New Zealand.

$1.20 Manukau Heads lighthouse:Built from Australian iron bark and totara, the structure at Manukau Heads is a popular tourist destination, cared for a by a local community trust. 

$1.20 Baring Head lighthouse:First lit in 1935, Baring Head replaced Pencarrow, New Zealand’s oldest lighthouse. It serves the dual purpose of providing coastal light and guiding ships into Wellington Harbour.

$2.40 French Pass lighthouse:Sitting just three metres above sea level, this small structure was first lit in 1884. It illuminates the narrow channel between D’Urville Island and the mainland near the north-eastern tip of the South Island.

$3.00 Nugget Point lighthouse:Also known as Tokata lighthouse, the structure at Nugget Point began operating in July 1870. Lighthouse keeping families faced cold and difficult living conditions at this posting but benefited from its proximity to Kaka Point township.

$3.60 Puysegur Point lighthouse:Situated on the south-west extremity of Fiordland in the South Island, the original wooden structure at Puysegur Point became the victim of arson in 1942. Its cast iron replacement was one of the last stations in New Zealand to be automated.

Date of Issue:6 March 2019

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