Vogel, Sir Julius

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VOGEL, SIR JULIUS (1835–1899), prime minister of New Zealand. Born in London, Vogel was attracted to Australia by the gold-rush and settled in Melbourne in 1852. Unable to make a fortune in the mines, he immigrated to New Zealand in 1861, became a journalist, and edited the colony's first daily newspaper, the Otago Daily Times. In the following year he was elected to the Otago provincial council. In 1863 Vogel became a member of the house of representatives where his mastery of financial issues brought him to the fore. He was made colonial treasurer in 1869 and acquired great prestige by successfully negotiating a loan with the British government for the construction of roads and railways. In 1873 Vogel became prime minister and set about reducing the autonomy of the New Zealand provinces with the intention of abolishing the regional system and strengthening the hand of the central government. This policy lost him considerable popularity and in 1875, while on a visit to London to negotiate fresh loans, he resigned. He was briefly prime minister again in the following year, and from 1876 to 1881 was agent-general of New Zealand in London. There he succeeded in persuading the British government to pass the Colonial Stock Act, thereby allowing for the inscription of colonial loans. Vogel returned to New Zealand in 1884 and became colonial treasurer for a second time. However, bitter criticism of his policy of public borrowing forced him to resign in 1887 and he left for London shortly afterward. He took no further part in New Zealand politics. Vogel was knighted in 1875, and died in East Molesley, Surrey. In 1889 Vogel published a novel, Anno Domini 2000; or, Women's Destiny, in which he predicted that women would rule and poverty would be abolished.


jc (March 18, 1899); P.H. Emden, Jews of Britain (1943), 440–3; L.M. Goldman, The History of the Jews in New Zealand (1960). add. bibliography: odnb online; R. Dalziel, "Julius Vogel," in: Dictionary of New Zealand Biography; R.M. Burdon, The Life and Times of Sir Julius Vogel (1948); R. Dalziel, Julius Vogel, Business Politician (1986).