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Special Stamps To Be Released

12 December 1999

Special Stamps To Be Released On 31 December & 1 January

Release From NZ Post

New Zealand Post will release two stamps to mark both the last day of the second millennium and the first day of the third millennium.

The special Round Kiwi stamp will be released on 31 December 1999. Then on 1 January 2000, the last stamp issue in New Zealand Post's millennium stamp series, 'First to see the New Dawn', will be issued.

"The two stamp issues are designed to celebrate these two special dates in our lifetime," said New Zealand Post Stamps Marketing Manager Wendy Riley.

Ms Riley said the Round Kiwi stamp has become a favourite among collectors and the wider public since the first olive green Round Kiwi was introduced in 1988.

"Reissued over the past 11 years in red (1991), blue (1993) and purple (1997), this special Round Kiwi stamp with its overprinted sheet selvedges and gutter strip signals the end of the availability of the purple Round Kiwi $1 stamp."

The overprinting includes the New Zealand Post Stamps website address in the gutter strip and simulates golden rays of the sun on the selvedge of the 33mm diameter, circular stamps.

The 40c 'Year 2000: First to see the New Dawn' stamp, commemorates New Zealand being the first country in the world to see the sun rise on the third millennium. It is also the first New Zealand stamp to be micro-printed.

The stamp features a dawn sunrise with a map overlaid showing the arc of the rising sun around the world and the time when the sun will rise on Hakepa on Pitt Island in the Chathams, the first inhabited place on earth to see the new dawn.

"Derived from the language of the Morioris, Hakepa appropriately means 'the place which receives the first rays of sunlight'," said Ms Riley. "As New Zealand is the first nation to see the light of the new age, New Zealand Post thought it fitting to commemorate 1 January 2000 with this stamp issue."

Customers will be able to purchase the Special Round Kiwi stamp and 'Last Sunset' covers from New Zealand Post retail outlets from 31 December. The 1 January stamp and other souvenir stamp products will be available from New Zealand Post retail outlets after 1 January 2000. Some retail outlets will be open on New Year's Day and customers will be advised of New Zealand Post's opening hours prior to this time.

Visit the New Zealand Post media centre now at www.nzpost.co.nz/mediacentre to obtain images of the two stamps for publication.

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