From David Loe, President

I am glad to report your new executive has now met for the first time and is getting organised to function efficiently.  As you know, when a new group gets together, it can take a bit of organising. Here is a bit of what we have been doing (and leaving aside the boring stuff).

Strategic Direction

The Federation met in mid-2023 to examine its role in the New Zealand philatelic scene and to understand what its priorities were.  At our March meeting we affirmed these priorities, and (again, without boring you) said they were:

  • To promote the hobby of philately within New Zealand
  • Support societies and individuals
  • Actively shape world and Asian philately
  • Be the voice of philately in New Zealand.
  • Communication

All this under the headline “Connecting collectors in NZ”.  So, it’s rather less about international exhibitions and rather more about supporting clubs and societies to retain membership and grow interest in the hobby.

You can be a participant in this and if you need support and have some great ideas then ask your delegate to raise it with the Executive.

Website Update

Our internet service provider and web host, The Support Desk NZ Ltd, has decided to shut up shop. They have hosted us for many years. We have migrated the website to a new provider and there should be no changes to how you access the site. A reminder of Federation email addresses:

One of the main areas that we can assist your society membership is through acting as an information source for your own club website or your calendar of events.  One statistic stands out from the webmaster’s report:

Over 45% of the ‘hits’ on the website are on the Society/Club pages and their meetings.

My own home society – Nelson – had over 250 hits in the 12-month reporting period.  We only have 32 members.  If you ask new members “how did you hear of us?” there is a good chance they will say “through the Federation website”.

Please keep our webmaster Bob up to date with meetings, speakers, exhibitions, etc.  Ask yourself “have we changed officers?”.  Bob is your recruiter in a roundabout sort of way.

Collectors, NZSDA (dealers) and NZ Post

I see the relationship between these three groups as being mutually interdependent and the role of Federation to facilitate communications and business at an organisational level.  To that point we invited Ant Harris of NZ Post into our recent executive meeting.  These are some of the things discussed after the issues had been raised by member societies:

NZ Post has agreed to reduce the size of special sheets to 26 cm x 17 cm so at this size will also fit on the smaller cathedral size album pages for those who use those.

The best option for getting current commemorative stamps is to order them direct online from Collectables in Whanganui.  NZ Post owned offices should have them but for all the other franchise outlets there is no obligation on them to stock stamps.  Looking on the NZ Post website it is not straight forward to figure out which places you need to go to.  A quick review on that website in Auckland for example it looks like there are 42 franchises and 7 owned outlets, while in Christchurch there are 45 franchises and 3 owned outlets.

NZ Post Collectables has become a wholesaler, producing and selling stamps and collectables but has few retail outlets.  Post Shops are franchises, and they need to be able to make money from the things they sell.  Selling the odd commemorative set of stamps to a collector does not warrant their time in ordering, sorting, and returning if they don’t sell.  The NZ Post business model has changed from a government public service to a profit-making enterprise.  So, as collectors, the best advice is to go direct to the source, in this case Collectables in Whanganui.

Handstamping of mail is a very limited service and officially only available from the two remaining mail sorting centres in Auckland (Highbrook) and Christchurch. However, some Post Shops do have hand cancellers and your best option is to develop a relationship with your local franchise holder who may still have a cancel to get mail done for you.  One thing to remember however, is that there is no longer any sort of standard as to the datestamp design; you need to be prepared to accept what the Post Shop has or send your material to the mail centres in Auckland or Christchurch.

Stamps can be used for sending parcels if the stamps cover the cost of the sending.  If the parcel is going to a rural delivery address, you need a $5.50 tracking label, which can’t be paid for using stamps, but if you buy a $3 upgrade label (known as a courier signature-required ticket), which also can’t be paid for using stamps, then the post shop can then produce a zero value label and attach it to the parcel for tracking purposes. This is known as the economy courier rate. However, there are limits – the parcel must weigh under 3kg and be no thicker than 70mm, AND the post shop must be an on-line outlet.

If you want to send an ordinary letter with tracking so there is more security, you can use stamps to the value of $4.80 for a DLE envelope size, and have a tracking label attached, or $6 if A5 size, or $8 if A4 size.

Regarding the sponsorship agreement between NZPF and NZ Post, Ant reiterated that NZ Post is happy for the relationship to continue, and specifically NZ Post is happy to be the major sponsor for Royalpex2025.

Ant was keen to support the exchange of postcards through Post Crossing and is hopeful the postage rate will remain at $3.30 for the next year.

We have commenced the review of the longstanding support arrangements with NZSDA. This is mainly around their group support of National Exhibitions.  It is early days, but it is in everyone’s interests to see a healthy relationship where dealers are part of shows.  With so little Queen St (by that I mean shopfront) presence I see it as important we meet up with our dealers from time to time.

The New Constitution to comply with the 2022 Incorporated Societies Act.

Most of us (including this Federation) will need to reregister our societies.  In a separate notice to all members, we will be putting out some guidance as to how to do this, and some of the pitfalls you may need to negotiate around.  This guidance should be issued around the same time as this newsletter.

Exhibition Frames

A scene from last year’s COFEX show

There are two sorts of display frames that societies use.  One sort is the display boards that go up at most of our society meetings which we are all used to seeing on a regular basis.

The other sort is the heavier, double-sided exhibition frames first used at NZ1990 and distributed to societies many years ago.  For many societies these frames are both an asset and a liability.  The asset side is that they can be used in public places to display what we do to the public.  They can be used in shopping malls, church halls and exhibitions and provide security and a professional exhibition space.  On the liability side of the equation, they are quite heavy, have deteriorated over time, and they take space (and a dry place) to store properly.  We ask that while they now belong to societies, please look after them and if for any reason you no longer have a need for them let us know.  There may be other philatelic societies looking for replacement frames, and we’d hate them to go to the tip.  If you are renovating, we can advise on the correct material specifications and suppliers. In the first instance, contact your regional delegate.

Federation Awards

Can societies and clubs please remember our annual awards round will soon be upon us.  Contact your delegate if you think you have a deserving member worthy of accolade.  Details are on the NZPF website.

Inherited collections

This is a subject that I suspect a lot of member societies have to deal with – offers of donated material and more often “what do I do with this collection I have been inherited”.  NZPF provides some advice at Brochures.  One of our projects is to update our brochures.