Elizabeth Cox


I currently work as Senior Historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, where I am the General Editor of the Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

I am also an experienced architectural historian, having worked in the heritage field for over a decade. My business is Bay Heritage Consultants. I have completed hundreds of historical reports, heritage assessments and conservation plans about Wellington buildings and sites, as well as about buildings further afield for Heritage New Zealand, local authorities and owners of heritage buildings.

My book “Making Space: A History of New Zealand Women in Architecture” (447 pages, 50 chapters) was published by Massey University Press in 2022. The book spanned generations of women involved in our built environment, from the 1840s up until today. I was the general editor of the project, which published the work of 29 architects, architectural historians and academics, all women, and gave space for Māori and Pacific authors to tell their own stories. I also wrote 16 of the chapters, completed a large oral history project, and edited the whole work.

When the book was reviewed by Julie Willis, Professor of Architecture and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning at the University of Melbourne, she wrote: “It is hands-down the best history of women architects I’ve ever read … the book presents an extraordinary depth of research that recovers the contributions of many hither-to unappreciated women designers and makers of the built environment. Elizabeth Cox’s editorship and own writing contributions must be especially noted; it is clear that without her vision, the book would not be such a tour de force … this is an extraordinarily important documentation that will inspire all who read it.”

My first book was “A Friend Indeed: The Saving of Old St Paul’s” (2018). This book examined the role of the building in the history of the city of Wellington, and the heritage battle to save it in the 1950s and 1960s.

I have also completed many other historical projects, including two large oral history projects, and two web-based social history projects.

My websites are:
Old St Paul’s: A Biography of a Church https://osphistory.org
Bay Heritage Consultants: https://bayheritage.co.nz


  • Editing
  • Oral history
  • Research
  • Writing


  • Heritage
  • Women