Philippa Baker (rower)

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Philippa Baker
Personal information
Birth name Philippa June Baker
Born (1963-06-12) 12 June 1963 (age 54)
Kaiapoi, New Zealand
Residence Whanganui
Occupation radiographer

Philippa June Baker, MBE (born 12 June 1963), now known by her married name Philippa Baker-Hogan, is a former New Zealand rower and politician. She was the first New Zealand woman to win a gold medal at World Rowing Championships and won gold at world championships on two more occasions. She has twice represented New Zealand at the Olympics. She has received numerous awards for her rowing success and in 2012, she and fellow double sculler Brenda Lawson were inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. A trained radiographer, she manages her husband's medical practice. She has been a Whanganui District Health Board and Wanganui District Council member since 2004 and 2006, respectively, and was a mayoral candidate in 2010. She is a member of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Early life[edit]

Baker was born in Kaiapoi in 1963. Baker is one of eight children. Her siblings include Erin Baker (New Zealand triathlete) and Kathy and Maureen who were both national champions in swimming and aerobics.[1]

Sporting career[edit]

Philippa Baker was initially a triathlete before she switched to rowing. She initially rowed for Canterbury before changing to Cambridge, and took her inspiration from Stephanie Foster, the first New Zealand woman to win a medal at a rowing world championship.[2] In 1992, her coach took up a job with the Swiss rowing team. Baker decided on Dick Tonks as her new coach and thus, in 1993, she moved to Wanganui to join the Union Boat Club.[2][3] Baker has won a total of 19 or 21 national rowing titles during her career (sources differ).[2][3] In the 1987–88 season, she was the first rower to win both the lightweight and premier open single sculls title; it was to be 29 years before the achievement was repeated by Zoe McBride in 2017.[4]

Baker competed in the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she won silver in the lightweight women's single sculls. Later in the same month at the 1986 World Rowing Championships, she came fourth in the same boat.[5] At subsequent world championships in 1987 and 1988, she came fifth and fourth, respectively.[6][7] At the 1989 World Rowing Championships, she competed in the lightweight women's double sculls, partnering with Linda de Jong as stroke, and won silver.[8]

At the 1991 World Rowing Championships, Baker returned to the lightweight women's single sculls and won gold,[9] the first woman to win gold for New Zealand at World Rowing Championships.[3] Along with Brenda Lawson she finished fourth in the women's double sculls at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.[10] At the 1993 and 1994 World Rowing Championships, Baker and Lawson won gold in the double sculls.[11][12][13] The duo again competed at the 1995 World Rowing Championships in Tampere, Finland and won a bronze medal.[14] At the 1996 Summer Olympics in the United States, they qualified for the A final but came sixth, i.e. last.[3][15]


Baker was the Waikato sports person of the year in 1989 and 1991; at the time, she was based in Cambridge.[3] For her 1991 gold medal, she won the 1991 supreme award at the Halberg Awards, and she was named New Zealand sportswoman of the year.[3][16] In the 1993 New Year Honours, both Baker and her sister Erin were made members of the Order of the British Empire, for services to rowing and as a triathlete, respectively.[17] Baker was the Wanganui sports person of the year in 1993 and 1994.[3] Baker and Lawson were named New Zealand team of the year at the 1994 Halberg Awards, and they also won the supreme award.[18] In 2012, Baker and Lawson were inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, the first woman rowers to achieve this accolade.[2] The Sports Hall of Fame citation reads:

It was undoubtedly the dogged determination of Philippa Baker, and later Baker and Brenda Lawson, that set the benchmark, along with the coach they sought out in Wanganui, Richard Tonks, that cemented the arrival and force to be reckoned with—New Zealand women's rowing—as we see it today. They helped build the next significant generation of female rowers; a generation who have and are becoming household names.

Post sport[edit]

Baker trained as a radiographer.[19] She is married to the osteopath Shaun Hogan and manages his practice in Whanganui.[20] Baker and Hogan met as he was one of the team doctors for the Union Boat Club.[21]

Baker was elected to the Whanganui District Health Board at the 2004 local elections.[19][22] In a by-election in 2006, she was elected as a councillor to Wanganui District in support of the then-mayor, Michael Laws.[19][23][24] Baker represents the Aramoho ward.[25] In the 2007 local elections, she was confirmed as a district councillor and health board member.[26] After Laws announced his retirement from the mayoralty at the 2010 local elections, Baker was one of the five mayoral candidates, plus she also stood for the district council and the health board. She came a distant fourth in the mayoral race, but was re-elected for the other two positions.[27] In the 2013 local elections, Baker successfully stood for the district council and health board positions again, but not for mayor, but declared that she was a likely mayoral candidate in 2016.[19]

As a district councillor, she caused controversy in 2011 with her comments over Palmerston North's bid when Whanganui was eliminated from the short-list for the proposed New Zealand Cycling Centre of Excellence;[28][29] in the end, Palmerston North missed out, too, and what has become known as the Avantidrome was built in Cambridge.[30]

Since 2009, she is a trustee of the Whanganui Community Foundation and has been the chair of the organisation since 2013.[20]


  1. ^ Romanos, Joseph (2006). New Zealand's top 100 sports history-makers. Wellington: Trio Books. ISBN 0958245584. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Dawson, Mark (10 February 2012). "Salute to rowing legend". Wanganui Chronicle. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Philippa Baker-Hogan". Wanganui District. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Piddington, Stu (18 February 2017). "McBride joins special club at rowing nationals". The Press. p. B7. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Lightweight Women's Single Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Lightweight Women's Single Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Lightweight Women's Single Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "Lightweight Women's Double Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Lightweight Women's Single Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Women's Double Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Women's Double Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "World Championship medallists". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Women's Double Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Women's Double Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Women's Double Sculls - Final". FISA. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  16. ^ "1991". Halberg Awards. Archived from the original on 6 May 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  17. ^ "No. 53154". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1992. p. 30. 
  18. ^ "1994". Halberg Awards. Retrieved 3 October 2015. [permanent dead link]
  19. ^ a b c d Stowell, Laurel (14 August 2013). "Not yet, says Baker-Hogan". Wanganui Chronicle. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "Whanganui Community Foundation". Whanganui Community Foundation. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Shaun Hogan". Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  22. ^ "Board Members". Whanganui District Health Board. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  23. ^ Hoskins, Sean (19 December 2005). "Vision player announced for by-election". Wanganui Chronicle. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  24. ^ Hoskins, Sean (13 February 2006). "Baker-Hogan grateful to voters". Wanganui Chronicle. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "Councillors". Wanganui District. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "Your Vote 07 - The results". The New Zealand Herald. 14 October 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "Wanganui elects first woman mayor". Wanganui Chronicle. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  28. ^ Rankin, Janine (15 March 2011). "Flak flies at centre". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  29. ^ "Wanganui misses out on cycling centre of excellence shortlist". Wanganui Chronicle. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  30. ^ "Councillors to take part in Avantidrome royal opening". The Daily Post. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Peter Blake
Halberg Awards – Supreme Award
1994 (with Brenda Lawson)
Succeeded by
Annelise Coberger
Preceded by
Eisenhower Trophy Team
Succeeded by
Team New Zealand
Preceded by
Karen Holliday
New Zealand's Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
Annelise Coberger
Preceded by
Eisenhower Trophy Team
New Zealand's Team of the Year
Succeeded by
Team New Zealand