I have seen this issue described as “Tuia Encounters 250”, as “the 250th anniversary of the journey of Tupaia from Tahiti to New Zealand” and as “Michel Tuffery’s Artistic Journey of Discovery”.
There are five stamps, all based on paintings by Michael Tuffery. These stamps also appear in a miniature sheet. The designs are described by the NZ Post Office as follows.
$1.30 A messenger from Ra’iate
Here, the white heron/ kotuku is a messenger of connection looking towards Opoutama, a site of significant exchanges between Tupaia and Uawa tangata whenua.
$1.30 Taiato and Young Nick, the adventurers arrive in Aotearoa, 1769
Tupaia’s nephew Taiato appears here alongside a fellow 12-year-old boy from the other side of the world. It was Nicholas Young who sighted land from Endeavour’s masthead on 6 October, 1769.
$2.60 Te Maro and Solander, two intellectuals from opposite sides of the world, 1769
Te Maro’s descendent Nick Tupara is depicted here in place of his ancestor who was killed at this tragic first meeting of Maori and British at the Turanganui River.
$3.30 Parkinson at Opoutama, 1769
White blossoms of Tahitian tiare maori join Aotearoa’s vibrant red ngutukaka/kakabeak in this portrait of natural history artist Sydney Parkinson that celebrates his relationship with Tupaia.
$4.00 Not another Kuki story
Here we see Tupaia as migratory tuna, guiding Cook on his voyage and translating between people long separated yet always connected—seeds sown from Ra’iatea.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 32, volume 43, number 1 (2020).