Typically when I receive mailings from New Zealand Post they come in postage paid envelopes without stamps or cancels. But this latest mailing was stamped with and cancelled on the day of issue of the $2.00 Matariki 2009 Hei-tiki stamp issue. It was a very interesting way of marketing the issue and also very effect since here I am writing about it.
The Māori are the indigenous peoples of of New Zealand. And this year their new year, Matariki, was celebrated on 24 June. To mark the occasion, New Zealand Post issued a set of stamps featuring various Māori hei-tiki: decorative pendants worn around the neck by the Māori. These decorative pieces have become the icons of Māori art. The hei-tiki featured on my $2.00 stamp is 160 years old and held by the Museum of New Zealand.
The stamp series consists of six self-adhesive issues, each featuring a different hei-tiki. There was also a souvenir sheet issued featuring the same six stamps in a gummed format.