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Julius Vogel

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Title: Julius Vogel  
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Subject: Harry Atkinson, William Fox (politician), Minister of Finance (New Zealand), Daniel Pollen, Robert Stout
Collection: 1835 Births, 1899 Deaths, 19Th-Century Jews, Alumni of Imperial College London, Australian Jews, Burials at Willesden Jewish Cemetery, English Jews, Jewish New Zealand History, Jewish New Zealand Politicians, Jewish Politicians, Knights Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, Members of New Zealand Provincial Councils, Members of the New Zealand House of Representatives, Members of the Otago Provincial Council, New Zealand Diplomats, New Zealand Editors, New Zealand Finance Ministers, New Zealand Jews, New Zealand Mps for Christchurch Electorates, New Zealand Mps for Dunedin Electorates, New Zealand People of English Descent, New Zealand Science Fiction Writers, People Educated at University College School, People from London, Prime Ministers of New Zealand
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Julius Vogel

The Right Honourable
Sir Julius Vogel
8th Premier of New Zealand
In office
8 April 1873 – 6 July 1875
15 February 1876 – 1 September 1876
Monarch Victoria
Governor James Fergusson
George Phipps
Preceded by William Fox (1873)
Daniel Pollen (1876)
Succeeded by Daniel Pollen (1875)
Harry Atkinson (1876)
Constituency Dunedin Suburbs
Personal details
Born (1835-02-24)24 February 1835
London, England
Died 12 March 1899(1899-03-12) (aged 64)
Molesey, England
Political party None
Spouse(s) Mary Clayton
Children Four[1]
Religion Judaism

Sir Julius Vogel, KCMG (24 February 1835 – 12 March 1899) was the eighth Premier of New Zealand. His administration is best remembered for the issuing of bonds to fund railway construction and other public works. He remains the only practising Jewish prime minister of New Zealand. Historian Warwick R. Armstrong assesses Vogel's strengths and weaknesses:

Vogel's politics were like his nature, imaginative – and occasionally brilliant – but reckless and speculative. He was an excellent policymaker but he needed a strong leader to restrain him....Yet Vogel had vision. He saw New Zealand as a potential 'Britain of the South Seas', strong both in agriculture and in industry, and inhabited by a large and flourishing population.[2]


  • Early life 1
  • Political career 2
    • Member of Parliament 2.1
    • Premier of New Zealand 2.2
  • Life after politics 3
  • Namesakes 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Born in London, Vogel received his early education at

Government offices
Preceded by
William Fox
Premier of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Daniel Pollen
Preceded by
Daniel Pollen
Succeeded by
Harry Atkinson
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Isaac Featherston
Agent-General of New Zealand in the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Dillon Bell
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Dunedin and Suburbs North
Served alongside: John Richardson
Electorate abolished
Preceded by
John Bryce
Member of Parliament for Whanganui
Served alongside: John Bryce
Succeeded by
William Fox
Preceded by
Henry Thomson
Member of Parliament for Christchurch North
Succeeded by
Edward Wingfield Humphreys
  • Prime Minister's Office biography (archived)
  • Biographic entry in the Jewish Encyclopedia
  • History of Jews in New Zealand – Wellington Jewish Community Website
  • Biography in the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
  • Sir Julius Vogel: Anno Domini 2000 Or A Woman's Destiny: New Zealand Electronic Text Centre. Full text freely available online
  •  "Vogel, Julius".  

External links

  • Burdon, Randal M. Life and Times of Sir Julius Vogel (Christchurch, 1948)

Further reading



  1. ^ a b Dalziel, Raewyn. "Vogel, Julius".  
  2. ^ Warwick Robert Armstrong, "VOGEL, Sir Julius, K.C.M.G." (1966)An Encyclopedia of New Zealand 1966
  3. ^ a b c d e  
  4. ^ Kennedy, B. E. "Vogel, Sir Julius (1835–1899)".  
  5. ^ Chalklen, Mollie. "John Crewes".  
  6. ^ The New Zealand Herald, 26 July 2008, page B3.
  7. ^ "Curiosities: Anno Domini 2000; or Woman's Destiny by Julius Vogel" by Lucy Sussex, Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 2008, page 162.


See also

  • The Sir Julius Vogel Awards for science fiction writing.
  • Suburbs named Vogeltown in Wellington and New Plymouth.
  • Vogel House, the former official residence of New Zealand Prime Ministers for most of the 20th century.
  • Vogel Building in Wellington built for the Ministry of Works, now housing much of the Ministry of Justice. This building has been renamed the Justice Centre as of July 2013.
  • Various streets throughout the country named Vogel Street, such as the one in his former constituency of Dunedin.

Several things bear his name today:


On his death at East Molesey in 1899, Vogel was interred in Willesden Jewish Cemetery in London.

In honour of this book, the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for New Zealand speculative fiction take their name from him.[7]

Vogel has a reputation as the first New Zealander to write a science-fiction novel: Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman's Destiny, published in 1889. It anticipated a utopian world where women held many positions of authority. New Zealand went on to become the first country to give women the vote, and, from 1997-2008, continuously had a female Prime Minister, while for a short period (2005–2006) women simultaneously held all five highest government positions (Monarch, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker of the House and Chief Justice).

Life after politics

Vogel is also noteworthy as one of the few practising Jewish prime ministers outside Israel. Since Vogel, two other New Zealanders of Jewish descent have held the premiership: Francis Bell, an Anglican who briefly became prime minister in May 1925; and John Key, New Zealand's current prime minister, who took office in 2008 and who is not religious even if he attended synagogue as a child on occasion.[6] Benjamin Disraeli, who was also of Jewish descent, but he too was an Anglican, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom contemporary to Vogel's premiership. Mikhail Fradkov, also Jewish, was Prime Minister of Russia.

Vogel is best remembered for is his "Great Public Works" scheme of the 1870s. Before 1870, New Zealand was a country largely dominated by provincial interests and pork-barrel politics. After Vogel, as colonial treasurer, proposed borrowing the massive sum of 10 million pounds, New Zealand developed significant infrastructure of roads, railways and communication, all administered by central government. This ultimately led to the end of provincial government in 1876.

Vogel was premier from 1873 to 1875 and again in 1876. From 1876 to 1881, he was agent-general for New Zealand in London, and, in 1884, he was again a member of the government of the colony. During his political career, Vogel worked generally successfully for reconciliation with the Māori people. In 1887, he introduced the first women's suffrage Bill to Parliament, but suffrage was not granted until 1893. He was knighted in 1875. He finally gave up colonial office in 1887, from which date he lived in England.

Premier of New Zealand

Vogel successfully contested the 1884 election in Christchurch North against John Crewes.[5]

In 1863 he was elected a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives, and on retiring from the provincial government in 1869 he joined the William Fox ministry as colonial treasurer,[3] afterward becoming successively postmaster-general, commissioner of customs, and telegraph commissioner. The Fox ministry having been forced to resign, Vogel carried a vote of no confidence in their successors, and in October 1872, returned to power as leader in the Lower House, colonial treasurer and postmaster-general. He represented several electorates throughout the colony: Dunedin and Suburbs North 1863–1866, Goldfields in Otago 1866–1870, Auckland East 1871–1875, Wanganui 1876 (resigned) and Christchurch North 1884–1889 (resigned).

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1863–1866 3rd Dunedin and Suburbs North Independent
1866–1870 4th Goldfields Independent
1871–1875 5th Auckland East Independent
1876 6th Wanganui Independent
1884–1887 9th Christchurch North Independent
1887–1889 10th Christchurch North Independent

Member of Parliament

Vogel first became involved in politics in 1862, winning election to the provincial council of Otago.[3] Four years later became the head of the provincial government, a post which he held until 1869.[3]

Political career

[1] and became its first editor.Otago Daily Times. In November 1861, he founded the Otago Witness in October 1861, where he became a journalist for the Otago he moved to [4][3]

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