After the initial enthusiasm of the 1870s, Julius Vogel’s reputation suffered in the 1880s when New Zealand’s economy slumped into a long depression that was triggered by an international banking crisis.
In 1870, Colonial Treasurer Julius Vogel launched the most ambitious development programme in New Zealand’s history. The ‘Vogel era’ was a decisive moment in New Zealand’s 19th-century transformation from a Māori world to a Pākehā one.
The bad old days: stowing frozen carcasses in one of the Port Caroline’s refrigerated holds. Even in such a gleaming new ship, it was cold, hard work and could be dangerous as well.
The Port Caroline was constructed in 1968; this image is from 1971.
Containers changed everything. Railways ordered fleets of flat deck rolling stock and ‘daylighted’ tiny Victorian tunnels to get them through. Truckers bought heavy duty vehicles and new businesses sprung up to store, clean and repair containers. In warehouses and loading docks all around the country, heavy forklift trucks lifted boxes on and off vehicles.
Even before his arrest, trial and acquittal on spy charges in the 1970s, most New Zealanders had heard of Dr W.B. Sutch. He was – as his defence counsel claimed when arguing for name suppression – a prominent citizen, known for his work as an economist, writer, public servant and diplomat.
Premier: 8 Apr 1873 – 6 Jul 1875; 15 Feb – 1 Sep 1876 Age on becoming premier: 38 Electorate: Auckland City East
Although he spent just 18 years here, journalist, businessman and politician Julius (Sir Julius from 1874) Vogel dominated our politics. The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography describes our first Jewish premier as ‘vastly ambitious’ and ‘clever, impulsive, generous, strong-willed to the point of being domineering.’ Contemporaries might have been less polite.