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New Zealand

01 April 2020

End of World War II 75th Anniversary

New Zealand: End of World War II 75th Anniversary, 1 April 2020. Images from New Zealand Post.

Technical information
Date of issue: 1 April 2020
Number of stamps: 15 gummed stamps
Denominations: 15 x $1.30
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Nicky Dyer, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 50mm
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 15
Perforation gauge: 14.40 x 14
Period of sale: Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 31 March 2021. First day covers will remain on sale until 27 May 2020.

Please note: due to the conditions of Level 4 in the COVID-19 alert system, products will not be shipped until early May.

World War Two spanned nearly six years, and during that time New Zealanders lived through immense hardship, suffering and change. Through these challenging years they connected, worked together, rallied as citizens and solved problems both abroad on the battlefields and on home soil. During the war advancements in medicine, trade and manufacturing occurred worldwide – changes that we still benefit from today.

A cataclysmic event, the Second World War was fought out in territories, seas, and skies across the face of the earth and touched most of humanity. Notably, it would prove to be the most lethal conflict ever waged, killing some 60 million.

In 1945, the war ended with a total Allied victory over Germany and Japan marked, respectively, by VE Day and VJ Day. In the decades separating 1945 and 2020, New Zealand has experienced revolutions in politics, customs, and fashions. Consequently, the New Zealand that fought in World War Two can be difficult for modern eyes to recognise. However, towards the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, the war’s legacies remain relevant to understanding New Zealand today.

$1.30 Mobilising the nation
A soldier is met by a group of children in Wellington after his return from the Middle East on a hospital ship.

$1.30 HMS Achilles
In Auckland, crowds turned out to welcome HMS Achilles, returning to New Zealand after the Battle of the River Plate.

$1.30 Fighter pilots
New Zealand fighter pilots beside a Supermarine Spitfire in England, 15 July 1942. A single-seat fighter, the Spitfire established a formidable record during the Battle of Britain. It remains an iconic aircraft.

$1.30 Retreat from Crete
An injured soldier assisted off a ship in Alexandria, Egypt, after the evacuation from Crete.

$1.30 28th (Māori) Battalion
Members of the 28th (Māori) Battalion driving through the Italian town of Sora, 3 June 1944. They are (from left): Kiwi Cribb, David McClutchie, Whiwhi Winiata, Repoma Thompson and Dick Huata.

$1.30 Women’s War Service Auxillary
Women from the Auxiliary Army Corp worked on a wide range of war-critical jobs as part of the defence effort at home.

$1.30 Railway Construction in Africa
Men of the New Zealand Railway Construction Company laying track to be used to supply British forces in the North African desert, c. October 1941.

$1.30 At rest in the Pacific
Members of the 3rd Division at ease at Vella Lavella, located in the Solomon Islands, c. 1944.

$1.30 American Servicemen in Wellington
American servicemen with New Zealand women at Oriental Bay, Wellington, c. 1942.

$1.30 Merchant Marine
Merchant seamen pose on the Union Steam Ship Company’s Kaiwarra in Auckland, December 1940, while loading Royal New Zealand Air Force planes for delivery to Fiji.

$1.30 Bomber Command
Members of 75 (NZ) Squadron at RAF Feltwell, England. They are passing a Wellington (Mk I), a four-crew, medium bomber that served as one of Bomber Command’s principal bombers in the early years of the war.

$1.30 Air raid drill in Auckland
Pupils and teachers at Devonport School entering air raid shelters during a drill, April 1942.

$1.30 Home Guard
Members of the Home Guard training in Waikato. Lacking uniforms, they have been issued with identifying armbands.

$1.30 Monte Cassino
Gordon Reid of the 4th Armoured Brigade in the ruins of Cassino, 18 May 1944. He is operating communication equipment and sits beside a Sherman tank.

$1.30 Peace Celebration in Wellington
A Wellington crowd on VJ Day, 15 August 1945, celebrating the end of the war.

Miniature Sheet Booklet
Aided by historical photographs, this stamp issue reflects on the war years through 15 key themes and events. With this informative miniature sheet booklet, historian Steven Loveridge explores the ways in which the war affected New Zealanders, both overseas and at home. The booklet contains fifteen unique miniature sheets, each featuring two stamps.

First Day Covers
The three first day covers for this issue feature additional imagery from the war:

Spitfires: Spitfire 1As of 610 Squadron based at Biggin Hill, July 1940. Bernard Brown from New Zealand flew with the 610 but there were others who transitioned in and out during the Battle of Britain.

Jumping Men: New Zealand soldiers participating in a beach landing exercise, during amphibious training in the Pacific (exact location unknown).

Land Girls: Private Arlen Olson (left) and Corporal Al Cartwright pose for a photograph with New Zealand ‘land girls’ Dorothy Penny and Lindsay Horwell (right), who they are helping harvest crops at Patumāhoe, near Pukekohe.

2020 WWII 75 Years Remembrance 2oz Silver Proof Coin
The Remembrance coin is a reminder of the impacts of WWII – the war took the life of one in every 150 New Zealanders. It changed the landscape of New Zealand society, and those impacts are still apparent today. This coin commemorates this anniversary with a wreath of native New Zealand flora.


  • Minted from 0.999 silver with selective colour
  • Low worldwide mintage of 750 coins
  • Released in 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII
  • Each coin comes with a unique numbered certificate.

Technical specification
Denomination: One New Zealand dollar
Finish: Proof
Composition: Silver
Weight: 2oz
Diameter: 50mm
Edge treatment: Milled
Shape: Round
Obverse design: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley, United Kingdom
Reverse design: 75 Years We Remember
Deisgned by: Nicky Dyer, Wellington, New Zealand
Worldwide mintage limit: 750
Mint: The Commonwealth Mint

This coin features a remembrance wreath comprised of New Zealand native plants harakeke (flax) flowers and ponga (fern) koru and fronds. Among its many uses, harakeke is prized as a durable weaving material, and here symbolises the strength and unity of New Zealand communities as they endured six years of disruption, rationing and anxiety. Koru, the coiled, unfurled fronds of New Zealand ferns, the represent hope and new beginnings brought by the end of this terrible war.

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