Phil grew up in Waimārama, a remote Māori community in the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island where Māori knowledge and cultural practise was part of everyday life. Phil has been carving since childhood — 30 years — and is an apprentice of master adze maker, Tohunga Dante Bonica. His work is heavily influenced by the native forest and what dwells within. The physical manifestations and expressions of values and tikanga (lore) of this place. Phil is of mixed Aotearoa New Zealand ancestry including affiliations to Taupunga Marae, Waimārama, & Kāti Mamoe tribal peoples.