Government Life Stamps
When the Post Office was first set up in New Zealand in 1840, Government departments were allowed to send their letters through the post without having to pay anything. Later, special stamps were issued to Government departments to put on their letters. These were simply ordinary stamps overprinted with the word 'Official'.
One Government Department that always had to pay postage was the Government Life Insurance Department. In 1891 special stamps were issued for this department and they showed a lighthouse with the words 'State Security' written on the rays from the lighthouse.
Then, in 1947, James Berry designed some new Government Life Insurance Department stamps and on these were pictured New Zealand lighthouses and the famous Eddystone beacon off the Cornish coast in Great Britain.
The final set of Government Life stamps were designed by Allan Mitchell of Wellington and had on them an outline picture of a lighthouse.
New Zealand Government Life Insurance stamps were withdrawn from use on 30 September 1989 when Government Life became the Tower Corporation.