Maori Council Frank, Arapawa District

Maori Council Frank, Arapawa District

I recently purchased a collection of stamps, postcards and this Maori Council Frank from a British Auction House.

The Maori Councils were originally set up in 1902 by the Government to control the “Health, Welfare and Moral well-being of Maori”. They operated at regional level, laying down rules of social control through bylaws which were valid in their own areas. They were partly funded by a “dog tax” imposed by the Government which was not universally acceptable. There were eventually 25 Maori Councils.

The Chairmen of the Maori Councils had “Free Frank” privileges, and could post letters and postcards without charge on official Maori Council business. The Maori Council Frank for their area was applied and signed by the Chairman. This is signed by Haparota Pore Pukekohatu.

Most surviving Maori Council Franks are cut-outs from covers and postcards.

Interestingly this item was featured in “The New Zealand Bulletin”, Campbell Paterson’s Newsletter, Volume XXIII, Number 12, July 1986. They state that “these franks, although actually of 20th century origin, must be among the scarcest of all N. Z. postal markings. No doubt because of their scarcity, reference information is very sketchy indeed”.

See Maoritanga, Frame 3, pages 3, 4  and 5 for other examples, and Council franks on cover and a postcard.

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