By Datta Dharmadhikari
As a supporter of Children’s Health Camps since 1929 New Zealand is issuing “Children’s Health stamps” which are surcharged. The surcharge on the stamps goes directly to “Te Puna Whaiora—the New Zealand Foundation for Child and Family Health and Development. The seven children’s health camps run by this institute play a crucial role in helping children and their families in times of need.The flightless birds featured on this year’s stamps are also in need of love and support. The kiwi (60c+10c. surcharge), kakapo($1.20+10c. surcharge) and takahe(60c+10c surcharge) were all once more abundant and widely distributed throughout New Zealand than they are today. It’s only through the ongoing help of conservation programmes that people are now able to enjoy these unique and precious birds. These three stamps are presented together on a takahe-shaped miniature sheet. Takahe once flourished in New Zealand, their number dwindled due to hunting and predation and the species was presumed extinct by 1930. Fortunately, the bird was still living in the valleys of the Murchison Mountains. Today, with the help of human hands, there are believed to be around 200 takahe in existence in New Zealand.