Philippa Mein Smith

Philippa Mein Smith is a New Zealand-Australian academic and historian who specialises in Australian history, New Zealand history, the history of Australia-New Zealand relations and health history.


Mein Smith completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Canterbury in 1977 and worked briefly as an accountant before returning to the university for a postgraduate study. She graduated with a Master of Arts degree in History in 1983.[1] Her thesis was titled The State and Maternity in New Zealand. Mein Smith completed her Ph.D. at the Australian National University in Canberra, in 1990; her thesis was titled Reformers, Mothers and Babies.[1]


From 1989 to 1992, Mein Smith was a lecturer in economic history at Flinders University. During this time she had a biography of her great-great-grandfather, William Mein Smith, published in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.[2][3] She then moved to a position in the History Department at the University of Canterbury, where she remained for 21 years.[1]

From 2003 to 2006, Mein Smith was the recipient of a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund Grant, awarded to her to study the historical development of connections between Australia and New Zealand. This project was known as the "Anzac Neighbours" project. As a result, Mein Smith and her colleague Peter Hempenstall established the New Zealand Australia Connections Research Centre (NZAC) at the University of Canterbury in 2005.[4]

In 2008 the centre was replaced with a larger New Zealand Australia Research Centre (NZARC), with Mein Smith as the director.[4] Its launch coincided with the 25th anniversary of the New Zealand-Australia Closer Economic Relations Agreement (CER) and was marked with a symposium jointly hosted by the university and the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs.[4][5]

In March 2013, Mein Smith took up a position as Professor of History at the University of Tasmania.[1]


  • Mein Smith, Philippa (2012). A concise history of New Zealand (2nd ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-40217-1. Retrieved 9 February 2016.


  1. ^ a b c d "Staff profile: Philippa Mein Smith". University of Tasmania. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  2. ^ Mein Smith, Philippa. "Smith, William Mein". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  3. ^ Rothwell, Kimberley (2013-02-10). "Wellington's founding fathers". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  4. ^ a b c "Chronicle, Vol. 43, No. 17" (PDF). University of Canterbury. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Dalziel: "Where to from here": Launch of NZAC | Scoop News". Retrieved 2016-02-09.