In previous articles, we described the foundation of Kiwi Exchange Club in 1930 by Walter Nicholas, and the growth of autonomous Kiwi Sales Circuits in more than 50 countries of the world, with particular reference to the New Zealand division, managed by George Taylor.
Mike Duggan took over the New Zealand division in 1974 and built the ‘Kiwi’ up to its peak membership of 650 with circuit boxes going as far as New Zealand forces in Singapore.
However decisions made by the NZPost in 1990, brought dismay to stamp circuits throughout NZ, and in early 1991 Kiwi members received this note from Mike.
NZPOST SAVAGES THE GOOSE THAT LAYS THE GOLDEN EGG
“NZPost’s latest savage price increase in postage rates, combined with their decision to withdraw the sale of PoDs to counter customers, will force members to use registered post, and this will double the cost of sending stamp boxes between members. Whilst this will not cause the end of stamp collecting as a hobby, it will mean the closure of the Kiwi Sales Circuit Stamp Club.”
Fortunately, this was NOT the end of the story, in June 1991 members received another note
GOOD NEWS TIME
“During the past few months, I have received many letters of support for continuing the circuit in spite of the increased costs and several members have expressed interest in running the circuit. Dave and Jan Butcher who have been members since 1983, will take over in the near future. From now, the club will be known as the Kiwi Stamp Circuit.”
Since joining the Kiwi, Dave had had visions of managing the circuit in his retirement but realised that with Mike’s threatened closure, it was a case of ‘now or never’. After a joint approach with the Wellesley Philatelic Society to NZPost a contract was obtained allowing the purchase and use of PoDs by stamp clubs to continue for many more years.
Apart from a few innovations, Dave and Jan continue to run the stamp circuit along the patterns set by Mike. The club still has circuits covering every New Zealand city and members in almost every town.
The concept of DISCOUNT boxes was introduced, which has since been followed by some other New Zealand clubs. If books still contain sufficient saleable material after going around a number of regular circuits, they go out in BLUE (20% discount) and then RED (50% discount) boxes.
More recently YELLOW boxes have been introduced, these contain books which have completed their useful circuit life (remainder books – mostly from estates). Members bid for these books in their entirety.
PoD’s have been replaced by Electronic Tracking Labels which allow members to post circuit boxes securely to the next member while still useing stamps on the parcel.