About Jock

JOCPhillipsWhat do I do?

I am a historian of New Zealand, who is interested in communicating that history to people through many ways :

  • spoken words: I am an experienced speaker who presents regularly to a wide range of audiences such as overseas people visiting New Zealand, expatriates living here and wanting to understand our peculiarities, heritage groups, genealogists, scholars, academics, students. I am regarded as an engaging lecturer who always uses striking visual aids.
  • written words: I have written (by myself or with others) over a dozen books on New Zealand history.  Subjects include Kiwi men, Royal tours, New Zealand and the First World War, war memorials, stained glass windows, the transformation of New Zealand since 1940, Immigration to New Zealand, American culture in New Zealand. You can see a list of my main writings below.
  • radio and television:  I led the team of historians who prepared the television history of New Zealand Frontier of dreams and have appeared on many television programmes.  I was also the initiator and leader of the series of ‘Great War Stories’ which played on TV3 in 2014. For the last four years I have had a regular slot discussing history of the national programme Nights with Bryan Crump.
  • the web: I was General Editor and then Senior Editor of Te Ara: the Encyclopedia of New Zealand (www.Te Ara.govt.nz). I wrote 43 entries for Te Ara and over 160 blogs.  I have also written for NZHistory (www.nzhistory.net.nz). I developed a series of ‘Roadside Stories’ (140 short 4 minute tales about places on the main routes of New Zealand which were prepared for the 2011 Rugby World Cup).
  • museum exhibitions: In the 1990s I was the conceptual leader for the history exhibitions at Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. I have continued to provide assistance to museum exhibitions since then.
  • photographs: For almost 50 years I have taken photographs. Many of these have been published and over 500 were used on Te Ara.

Brief biography:

Major Publications

  • 1983: In the Light of the Past: Stained Glass Windows in New Zealand Houses (with Chris Maclean)
  • 1985: ed. Biography in New Zealand
  • 1986: ed. Te Whenua, Te Iwi: The Land and the People
  • 1987: A Man’s Country? The Image of the Pakeha Male – A History
  • 1988: ed. New Worlds – the Comparative History of New Zealand and the United States
  • 1988: The Great Adventure: New Zealand Soldiers describe the First World War (with Nicholas Boyack and E.P. Malone)
  • 1989: ed. Towards 1990 – Seven leading historians examine significant aspects of New Zealand History
  • 1990: The Sorrow and the Pride: New Zealand War Memorials (with Chris Maclean) 
  • 1992: Brief Encounter – American forces and the New Zealand People, 1942 – 1945
  • 1993: Royal Summer – the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to New Zealand, 1953-54
  • 2001: Going Public: The changing face of New Zealand History (with Bronwyn Dalley)
  • 2008: Settlers: Immigrants to New Zealand from England, Scotland and Ireland, 1800-1945 (with Terry Hearn
  • 2015: Brothers in Arms – Gordon and Robin Harper in the Great War
  • 2016: To the Memory: New Zealand’s War Memorials


  • 1968: Robert Stout prize for top graduate Victoria University of Wellington
  • 1968: Frank Knox Fellowship to Harvard University
  • 1978: Fulbright Fellowship
  • 1988: 3rd place Watties Book of the Year for A Man’s Country?
  • 1991: Honorary Fellow New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects
  • 2009: Ian Wards prize for the best book in New Zealand History for Settlers
  • 2011: Pou Aronui Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand
  • 2013: Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)
  • 2014: Life Membership of the Professional Historians’ Association of New Zealand (PHANZA)
  • 2014: Senior Honours tie Christ’s College
  • 2014: Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement
  • 2014: Hunter Fellowship from Victoria University of Wellington
  • 2015: Honorary D.Litt. from Victoria University of Wellington




One thought on “About Jock

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s