Jock Phillips

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Jock Phillips

Phillips in 2013
John Oliver Crompton Phillips

1947 (age 76–77)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Alma materVictoria University of Wellington
  • Historian
  • Author
  • Encyclopedist
Known forChief historian; general editor of Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

John Oliver Crompton Phillips ONZM (born 1947) is a New Zealand historian, author and encyclopedist. He was the general editor of Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, the official encyclopedia of New Zealand.


Born and raised in Christchurch,[1] Phillips graduated with a BA at Victoria University of Wellington, followed by a MA and PhD at Harvard in 1978.[2] Returning to Wellington was a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader in History at Victoria. He was founding director of the Stout Research Centre (established by the will of the grandson of Robert Stout).

Moving to the Department of Internal Affairs in 1989, Phillips was Chief Historian (1989–1997 and 2000–2002) and General Manager, Heritage (Acting) (1997–2000). He was Conceptual Leader (history) for Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa 1994–1998, in the lead-up to its radical transformation, accompanying its move to new waterfront premises.

From 2002 to 2011, Phillips was general editor of Te Ara, (New Zealand's online encyclopedia) and then its managing editor of content from 2011 to 2014.[3]

Phillips was mentioned in leaked diplomatic cables as an expert on New Zealanders' attitude to war:

Academic Jock Phillips added that Kiwis like to be seen as contributing to global military efforts, especially in peacekeeping roles, because, at times, this makes them feel morally superior.[4]


Beginning in the late 1960s, many Kiwis became uncomfortable with being U.S. allies. According to NZ Historian Jock Phillips, while Americans took away military/political lessons from the Vietnam War, New Zealand came away with a new sense of national identity. Opposition to the war was couched in nationalistic terms, because like many Commonwealth countries at that time, New Zealanders were carving out a post-colonial role. Because of the Vietnam war and Britain's declining influence here, what arguably should have been a rebellion against the UK was instead directed against the United States.[5]

Honours, awards and posts[edit]

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ The Dominion Post (25 April 2021). "My Wellington: Historian Dr Jock Phillips pleased to be in city for Anzac Weekend". Stuff. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Jock Phillips PhD '78 |". 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  3. ^ Phillips, Jock (2019). Making history: a New Zealand story. Auckland. ISBN 9781869408992. OCLC 1099703099.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  4. ^ "Cable reference id: #06WELLINGTON157". 2011. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Cable reference id: #06WELLINGTON260". 2011. Archived from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  6. ^ Manatū Taonga / Ministry For Culture And Heritage (20 October 2014). "Jock Phillips receives PM's Award for Literary Achievement" (Press release). Scoop Media. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2013". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Prestigious award made to prominent historian and editor of New Zealand's online encyclopaedia, Dr Jock Phillips". 2011. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Council Members Profiles". 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2011.