Phil Gifford

Phil Gifford is a well known radio and sporting personality, an entertaining after dinner speaker and professional MC.

Phil is one of NZ’s leading all round sporting journalist and author of many books, including biographies for Grizz, Wylie, Joe Stanley, Mike Brewer, skipping rope Man Billy Graham and most recently Valerie Adams

Phil Gifford is the first person to be twice judged New Zealand sports journalist of the year. Awarded the 2010 SPARC lifetime achievement award for services to sports journalism, he is the only New Zealand journalist to report from every Rugby World Cup since 1987. He’s covered every rugby test in New Zealand since 1977, and reported on rugby in Great Britain, Ireland, France, South Africa, Argentina and Samoa. He writes a weekly column for the Sunday Star-Times. Phil has hosted No.1 shows at Radio Hauraki in Auckland, and 91ZM and More FM in Christchurch, winning 12 New Zealand and two Australasian radio awards.

He created in print a satirical rugby character, Loosehead Len, a column that ran for 32 years from 1973. In 2011 he wrote the sellout Rugby World Cup book, “Cup Glory”, released three days after the cup final, and in 2012 came “Valerie”, the full, astonishing biography of Valerie Adams, which has become the best selling book ever about a New Zealand sportswoman. “Valerie” was his 19th book and in 2023 he published "Smithy" about rugby coach Wayne Smith. In total his books have sold over a quarter of a million copies. Phil toured the country as an MC for a series of dinners honouring Sir Graham Henry.

A funny, informative speaker, he offers an inside look at rugby, the World Cup, the media.  He quips: "in an after dinner speech I want to make people laugh, and to do that I increasingly tell true stories. They’re easier to remember.”

In the 2023 New Years Honours, Phil became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to broadcasting and sports journalism.