NZ 'publishing icon' remembered

A former colleague recalls NZ Woman's Weekly editor Jean Wishart, who died this week aged 96.

New Zealand publishing icon Jean Wishart, who died this week aged 96, will be remembered as one of the country’s most popular magazine editors.

She was the longest-serving editor of the NZ Woman’s Weekly, from 1952 to 1984, and was later awarded an OBE.

She will also be remembered as an astute businesswoman, who served on the board of New Zealand News in the mid-1970s, and was a member of the council of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

Jenny Lynch, who worked with Wishart and went on to edit the magazine herself from 1987 to 1994, recalls her as someone with superb instincts for what readers wanted.  However, she didn’t shy away from contentious issues such as rape and abortion.

Ms Lynch says she is unsure what Wishart thought of the modern publishing industry, but probably would have enjoyed the faster pace and greater creative possibilities of digital publishing.

“Above all, she was a very practical person,” she says.