New Zealand Post decides not to issue Maori Performing Arts stamps
After careful consideration New Zealand Post has decided not to release its new Maori Performing Arts stamp issue following consultation with a range of Maori arts and culture communities in the past fortnight.
The stamps were intended to celebrate kapa haka as an important aspect of Maori culture and New Zealand identity. However feedback from a range of stakeholders has indicated that the style of the stamp design does not portray the Maori Performing Arts appropriately.
New Zealand Post Group Chief Executive John Allen said some concerns were raised when the upcoming stamp issue was promoted last month. "As a result of the feedback, we sought additional advice and we have now concluded that the stamps would cause offence to some people and we have therefore decided not to issue them.
"Our intention is that our postage stamps carry images that celebrate aspects of New Zealand life and culture and that can be proudly sent round the world.
"We will create a stamp issue that celebrates Maori Performing Arts some time in the future and will offer details of our intention at that time.
"We have written to stamp collectors interested in this release and advised them of our decision," he said.
Note to editors: the following comment has been provided by the artist, Abel Vaireka, for your possible use:
"Nga mihi nui ki a tatou katoa. The illustrations were developed to represent kapa haka in a more contemporary style. For me, my passion for kapa haka began at an early age and the intention was to capture this spirit in a design. Working on a stamp issue provides an exciting opportunity from a design perspective and so I am very disappointed that the issue won't go ahead and that some people think the designs are controversial."