KSC History

History of the KSC - Part Four

The Kiwi Stamp Circuit

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’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


"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 15 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.

In 1992 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.

In 1990, not intending to step down from management, Mike had ordered 80,000 advice slips and 6000 blank circuit books – enough he thought to see out the century. Redesigned Kiwi circuit books have since been issued, but there are still several hundred from the Duggan era in circulation. Mike’s stock of advice slips are still being used up – albeit with the Kiwi Sales Circuit details guillotined off the top and the Kiwi Stamp Circuit’s printed lower down the form.

Born in Birmingham and Portsmouth respectively, Dave and Jan are both third generation Kiwis, having parents involved in wartime service in New Zealand and Britain. Dave arrived in Christchurch in 1946 and Jan in Timaru in 1964 ~ both with passages paid for by His and Her Majesty’s Governments! They met in 1971 while on the staff of Selwyn College, Auckland.

Now retired from full time teaching, they juggle their time between demands of the Kiwi Circuit, caring for 1000 orchids, and their desire to play croquet as many days in the week as they can manage.

For now, this is the final part of the ‘History of the KSC’