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Friday, April 30, 2010

Expo 2010 Shanghai China

New Zealand post will issue a set of stamps Celebrating its participation at ‘Expo 2010 Shanghai China’, it present an exciting collection of stamp products that capture the remarkable similarities between the cultures of New Zealand and China.

Innovative yet elegantly classical, the products complement the Expo and its theme of ‘Better City, Better Life’. The New Zealand pavilion explores the New Zealand lifestyle and the Expo’s theme through ‘Cities of Nature, Living between Land and Sky’.

50c – Pohutukawa and Peony Flowers
The 50-cent stamp features our native pohutukawa alongside peony flowers often seen in Chinese art. Both blossoms are red, a colour of significance in both M?ori and Chinese cultures. Look closely at the stamp and you’ll notice the pohutukawa tree that sits at the end of the rooftop garden and concludes the visitor experience of the New Zealand pavilion. Although the tree is artificial to withstand the Shanghai climate, it’s strong enough to climb, big enough to fit 20 people and includes a New Zealand classic – a tyre swing!

$1.00 – Kaitiaki and Fu Dog
Both the M?ori kaitiaki and China’s Fu Dog have similar roles. Kaitiaki are carers, guardians, protectors and conservers of the sky, sea and land, while pairs of Fu Dogs (also known as guardian lions, lion dogs and temple lions) can be found outside many Chinese homes and businesses, providing powerful protection against bad fortune. Eight kaitiaki, one of which is featured on this stamp, were carved by Lyonel Grant for the New Zealand pavilion, each different from the next. They adorn the railings that zigzag through the garden at the pavilion.

$1.80 – Tane and Pan Gu
According to M?ori legend, ‘Tane’ (the god of the forests and birds) was instrumental in creating the world of light after separating his parents Papat??nuku and Ranginui. In doing so he created light for a better life. Visitors to the New Zealand pavilion pass through the Waharoa (gateway) carving of Tane featured on this stamp and into the dawn of a new day for an average New Zealand family. Designed by Sam Sakaria and sculpted by Winiata Tapsell, it will surely be a hit at the pavilion. The story of how ‘Pan Gu’ created the world by separating the heaven and the earth from chaos is one of many Chinese creation stories. After his death, Pan Gu’s body parts became the earth, the sun, the moon and the clouds.

$2.30 – Auckland and Shanghai
Just as Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, so is Shanghai the largest city in China (it’s also the largest city in the world, with a population of more than 13 million). Both cities have harbour-side locations, with the shipping trades of the past leading to their growth and development as prime business and tourism locations today. Auckland is known as the ‘City of Sails’, while the symbols of Shanghai’s name translate as ‘up, on, or above’ and ‘sea’.

$2.80 – Heitiki and Cong
Jade (pounamu) is significant in both M?ori and Chinese cultures. Its importance and use by both civilisations date back thousands of years. The similarity is portrayed in this stamp by the heitiki and cong, both jade objects once owned and used by high-ranking ‘aristocrats’. The heitiki is the most precious of M?ori pendants, gifted in recognition of major achievements or deeds performed on behalf of others, while the tubular-shaped cong is a symbol of good luck, traditionally used for religious functions and funerals. This heitiki is on loan from the Otago Museum for display at the New Zealand pavilion.

Title: Expo 2010 Shanghai China
Date of Issue: 30 April 2010
Country: New Zealand
Denominations: 50c, $1.00, $1.80, $2.30, $2.80