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NZ Post Stamps Celebrate Te Kura’s 100th Anniversary & Historic Partnership

NZ Post’s newest stamp recognises our association with New Zealand’s largest school Te Kura Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

The Te Kura 100 stamp issue out today (1 June) pays homage to the early decades of Te Kura and recognises a time when all its lessons were delivered by mail.

The close affiliation is a proud one, NZ Post Collectables Programme and Content Manager Lynette Townsend says.

“In the early days, NZ Post was the only mail carrier for Te Kura's resources being sent out to students all over the country.

“We are proud of that affiliation and congratulate Te Kura for reaching a significant milestone.”

Te Kura has a rich and varied history, but its mission has not changed since opening in 1922.

New Zealand's largest correspondence and state school, Te Kura has helped educate around two million students aged from two to 90-years-old and has a wide range of personalised programmes and courses.

“The school may have transformed in many ways over the past 100 years, but its core values and mission of providing education to students who would otherwise miss out on an education, has not.”

Students who are already enrolled with a school can also register with Te Kura if they would like to study courses that their own school doesn’t offer. These students are known as a ‘dual student’ – with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern having been one.

In a foreword written for a book about the school titled Going the Distance – 100 years of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu – the Correspondence School, Ardern said she benefited from her correspondence class.

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“I count myself as one of the many who benefitted from the reach and influence of Te Kura, picking up a correspondence class in my senior year for a subject that otherwise my school didn’t have the scale to offer,” she said.

The book will be published later this year.

Te Kura Chief Executive Mike Hollings says he’s delighted NZ Post decided to release a stamp series celebrating the school’s centenary.

“We have such a rich and wonderful history and it’s a great opportunity for us to share that story,” Hollings said.




For further information email NZ Post’s media team at or for further information on Te Kura please contact Communications Manager Gael Woods on 021 530 576 or at


About Te Kura

As New Zealand's largest state-funded distance education provider, Te Kura offers a wide range of subjects and courses, from early childhood to NCEA Level 3, which are mostly delivered online, although most students regularly meet face-to-face with their teachers and other students.

Any student from 16 to 19 and can enrol for a few credits in a specific course or for a full-time programme, while students under 16 must meet enrolment criteria set by the Ministry of Education.

Te Kura have regional offices in Wellington, Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch and staff who work in communities where there are clusters of Te Kura students, such as Whangarei, Hastings and Nelson.


NZ Post stamp issue information

In 1922, Miss Janet MacKenzie arrived at the Department of Education in Wellington to start work as the first teacher of a new education endeavour – a ‘correspondence scheme’. She was allocated a small office on the second floor of Government Buildings. The roll rapidly jumped from the estimated 25 primary-aged students to 347 by the end of the first year. Everything was handwritten and sent by post. Today more than 24,000 students are enrolled each year.


Stamp descriptions

$1.70 Early students, Wairarapa, 1930s – This stamp shows one of the earliest known photos of Te Kura students. The boy is wearing the school’s uniform, usually worn when students attended a course away from home.

$3.00 Collecting a mailbag, Aoraki Mt Cook, 1950s – This image quintessentially represents the early days of Te Kura, when lessons were delivered by post to remote rural locations. By the 1950s there were a vast array of topics taught, including a course in te reo Māori.

$3.80 Receiving school work, Arapito, 1960s – This student is shown receiving lessons in the iconic green canvas envelope that could be used to receive and send schoolwork.

$6.70 Lighthouse lessons, Tiritiri Matangi, 1970s – Although this photo represents the stereotypical image of remote learning, by the 1970s the Correspondence School had significantly diversified. Both rural and urban students were enrolled, and remote early childhood education was made available for the first time.

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