NZPF Central Region established 1988


The Thematic Association of New Zealand (‘ThemeNZ’) is an association of collectors from New Zealand and overseas with a common interest in collecting around a subject or theme.

It was formed in 1988 and:

  • attempts to cater for all thematic and open collectors whatever their theme and whether or not they wish to exhibit their collections;
  • answers queries from members and distributes thematic information;
  • makes contact with overseas thematic groups for the exchange of ideas and information;
  • produces a newsletter at least four times a year that is the main means by which contact is made between members and information sent to them;
  • maintains a reference library suitable for thematic and open philately;
  • facilitates contact between members for the exchange of philatelic material.

What is Thematic Collecting?

As the amount of material produced by postal agencies around the world has increased it has become virtually impossible for anyone to collect every issue. Collectors had to restrict what they were to collect and have found different ways of doing so. This included limiting material to a particular type (eg stamps), country, period of issue, usage (eg airmail), etc or any combination of these.

Thematics and open involves the collection of material based on the subject depicted on it.


Subjects and themes that can be collected cover an extremely wide range. Popular, broad categories include:

  • birds and animals
  • botany (flowers, trees, etc)
  • science and technology
  • transport (trains, cars, planes)
  • famous people
  • music and art
  • sports
  • history and geography
  • organisations (eg scouts, Lions)

Some people enjoy collecting within a broad category while others are more specific. In the case of birds for example, some may collect material relating only to a particular group (predators), family (owls or eagles) or even a particular species (barn owl or bald headed eagle). Others may collect themes such as the migration patterns of birds, birds’ relationship with man (pets, domestic fowl, etc), endangered and extinct birds, etc. The depth or breadth of the topic is subject only to the collector’s own definition.

Type of Material Collected

Thematic collectors can collect a broad range of philatelic material including mint or used stamps, miniature sheets, postmarks and other postal cancellations, meter slogans, stamp booklets, covers, maximum cards, postal stationery, etc. Again, the collectors determine what material they are going to collect.

Open collectors do not restrict themselves to solely philatelic material and collecting an amazingly wide range.

ThemeNZ Newsletter

The Association produces up to four newsletters a year ranging from 16 to 24 A4 pages. It has regular features covering club news, members’ advertisements, details of recent and upcoming exhibitions, some new issue information and a listing of recent thematic articles appearing in philatelic and other journals. Each issue normally has two special articles covering a broad range of thematic subjects and exhibiting.

ThemeNZ Library

Members have access to the Association’s library through detailed lists by theme. These lists are produced at regular intervals. Currently comprised of more than 200 A4 pages the 12 lists are made available to all new members on joining.

These lists are supplemented by details included in each newsletter of recent articles appearing in philatelic journals, some of which are not available through the Association’s library but may be accessed through other sources.


The Association does not have regular meetings but arranges infrequent, informal meetings and occasional seminars.

Overseas Links

There are many overseas thematic societies. Some, like ThemeNZ, cover a broad range of thematic subjects and issues while others cover specific themes. ThemeNZ exchanges newsletters with Australian, South African, Indian and UK thematic groups and has contacts with many others. If you would like to know whether there is a society covering your subject ThemeNZ may be able to help.


Fees for 4 issues of ThemeNZ are:
Full New Zealand member $20.00
Overseas member $25.00

New members
A joining fee of $5.00 is charged (covering a CD of the Library List)