New Zealand post marks the 75th anniversary of World War II

New Zealand Stamps

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II – a war in which nearly 200,000 men and 10,000 women served for New Zealand both overseas and at home.

New Zealand was involved in all but three of the 2,179 days of World War II. It was a conflict that engulfed the globe, taking the lives of 50 million people, including nearly one in every 150 New Zealanders. World War II was New Zealand’s greatest ever national effort by land, by sea and by air, and it affected the lives of everyday New Zealanders in ways never seen before or since.

The 2014 Anzac stamps depict WWII poster art. Between 1939 and 1945 New Zealand produced hundreds of thousands of posters, window stickers and cards in support of its involvement in World War II. Displaying posters was seen as a way to contribute to the war effort and they helped to create a war-like atmosphere at home.

The six stamps reflect six of the groups that contributed to the war effort overseas and at home: the Air Training Corps, the Women’s Land Service, the Air Force, the Navy, the Army and the Māori Battalion. The purpose of these posters was to raise funds, recruit New Zealanders and give advice and information about the war.

70c – Duty Calls the Youth of New Zealand

This poster is an invitation to young New Zealanders to join the Air Training Corps, founded in 1941 to ensure there were enough future recruits to fill the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) ranks. Boys aged between 16 and a half and 18 years were eligible to join. The corps reached its peak strength of 9,244 in May 1944.

70c – Help Farm for Victory

Also known as the Women’s Land Army, the Women’s Land Service was established in 1940 to meet the shortage of male farming labour caused by conscription in New Zealand. By 1944, more than 2,000 women had joined, all of them employed on farms. This small ‘posterette’ encouraged young women to ‘help farm for victory’.

$1.40 – The Air Force Needs Men!

The pilot in this invitation to join the RNZAF is a self-portrait of the artist, Claude Wade. The heroic theme of the poster tapped into values of patriotism and loyalty. Many New Zealanders answered the call of the RNZAF, with more than 40,000 men and women serving in the war.

$1.90 – Navy Week

New Zealand’s naval force, which from 1 October 1941 became the Royal New Zealand Navy, grew substantially during the course of the war. This poster is an emotionally charged call for New Zealanders to give money to the war effort through loans – ‘New Zealand expects that everyone this week will invest in the 3rd Liberty Loan’.

$2.40 – Army Week

New Zealanders lent their money to the government to be repaid after the war, known as ‘Liberty Loans’. Nearly half of New Zealand’s war spending was covered by internal borrowing, so New Zealand had no outstanding overseas debt after the war. Posters like this tried appealing to New Zealanders’ sense of patriotism and sacrifice.

$2.90 – Taringa Whakarongo!

The war effort included appeals made in Māori to ensure all citizens were informed and persuaded. Such posters were rare, as government messages were usually delivered orally on marae. This poster asks for funds for weapons for the war effort, with one line of the text translating to “without weapons we shall perish”.

Commemorate Anzac Day 2014 with a special first day cover

Remember the important role that New Zealand played in World War II with this unique collectable. All six stamps are displayed on the first day cover, which features a ‘Protect New Zealand’ poster. This type of poster was designed to raise funds for New Zealand’s war effort and appealed to New Zealanders’ sense of patriotism.

Source: New Zealand Post