Exhibition attracts crowd in a post stamp era

Last Updated : 31 May 2023
Samantha Rowe's Stamp Exhibit At NZ2023

The largest international stamp exhibition that New Zealand has seen since 1990 took place in May at the Ellerslie Events Centre.

Ōrākei Local Board helped fund the venue hire for NZ2023 International Stamp Exhibition through its local grants programme.

It was free for the public to attend, and a few thousand people came to view the displays made up of local and international entries that were judged during the event.

Although postage stamps are increasingly hard to come by in a world that is dominated by email and other electronic communications, 15-year-old Samantha Rowe thinks stamp collecting is the perfect hobby for Kiwi kids and teens.

"It’s so relaxing, and for me, complete escapism. It takes you out of yourself, reminding you of the wider world. It’s so beneficial for our mental health to get away from screens for a bit."

Samantha was one of more than 200 exhibitors at NZ2023. Her entry was about the history of children's literature, and the stamps told the story of how it has developed throughout the years.

"My exhibit is a thematic one, which means it consists of stamps relating to the same topic; I really love thematic collecting because it allows you to collect what you like, combining your interests with stamps."

She encourages other young people to get involved in stamp collecting. Her memories of when she first started at age seven are still vivid: "To me, each stamp was a little piece of art. It felt so special to own literal pieces of history from countries I had never even heard of before!"

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