New Zealand has come out to support its LGBTQI communities with NZ Post releasing a special edition Rainbow Pride stamp. 

New Zealand Post has issued the special stamp to celebrate Pride month and and mark the 35th anniversary of the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform Act that decriminalised same-sex relationships.

The release of the stamp coincides with Pride months in different cities in New Zealand, including Auckland Pride from February 3-28, and the Wellington Pride festival from March 13-27. 

“This special edition stamp has been really meaningful to work on. Our stamp programme aims to be inclusive and reflective of our history and the many groups and cultures in New Zealand society. We are so proud to be supporting the 2021 Pride events and LGBTQIA+ communities in New Zealand. The key aim of the project is to help raise awareness but we will also be making a donation to RainbowYOUTH, as an expression of our support beyond the events planned for 2021,” Lynette Townsend, NZ Post Stamps and Collectables Programme and Content Manager, said in a statement. 

Gay Parliament

Last year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had appointed openly gay Grant Robertson as Deputy Prime Minister. Following the elections in October 2020, New Zealand had pipped the United Kingdom for the title of ‘Gayest Parliament’ with 13 openly LGBTQI Members of Parliament. 

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The NZ Post’s decision to go with the progress flag is being seen as the acknowledgement of the many different rainbow communities. Max Tweedie, Director of Auckland Pride gave a shoutout on Twitter sharing his delight at the release of the special stamp. “OMG, NZ Post have done a pride stamp with the progress flag!!!” 

Progress Pride Flag

The design of the Rainbow Pride stamp is based on Daniel Qasar’s Progress Pride flag. In 2018, Qasar had redesigned the original pride flag conceptualised by American activist Gilbert Baker in 1978 and incorporated the Trans Pride flag created by Monica Helms in 1999 as well as the black and brown stripes of Amber Hikes’ More Color, More Pride flag. 

In 2016 Sweden had released the world’s first stamp featuring the Rainbow flag issued by PostNord. In 2020, Spain’s national courier service Correos had issued a special Pride stamp to celebrate that country’s Pride month celebrations. 

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The year 2021 marks 35 years since New Zealand Parliament passed the Homosexual Law Reform Bill. The Homosexual Law Reform Bill was introduced in 1985 by MP Fran Wilde and was passed in July 1986 legalising consensual same-sex relations between men 16 and older. 

“While the Homosexual Law Reform Bill was a landmark moment in the history of gay liberation, the movement has grown to encompass a multitude of groups who face discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation…. The added colours form a chevron arrow at the hoist of the flag, pointing to the right to show forward movement, while being situated along the left of the flag to show that progress still needs to be made,” NZ Post said on its website.

One can order the special edition Rainbow Pride Flag on the NZ Post website.

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