Daniel Pollen

The Honourable
Daniel Pollen
9th Premier of New Zealand
In office
6 July 1875  15 February 1876
Monarch Victoria
Governor George Phipps
Preceded by Julius Vogel
Succeeded by Julius Vogel
Constituency Legislative Council member
Personal details
Born (1813-06-02)2 June 1813
Ringsend, Dublin, Ireland
Died 18 May 1896(1896-05-18) (aged 82)
Political party None
Spouse(s) Jane Henderson
Children 8
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]

Daniel Pollen (2 June 1813 – 18 May 1896) was the son of Elizabeth (née O'Neill) and Hugh Pollen and became the ninth Premier of New Zealand, serving from 6 July 1875 to 15 February 1876.[2]

Early life

The son of Hugh Pollen, a dock master, Pollen was born in Ringsend, Dublin. Little is known about the early part of his life, but it is supposed that he grew up in Ireland and in the United States of America.[3] However, his father was dock master of the Grand Canal Company at Ringsend in 1812,[4] still held that office in 1832,[5] and died in 1837 to be succeeded as dock master by Thomas Pollen.[6] On some accounts, Pollen's father helped to build the United States Capitol.

A doctor, Pollen claimed to hold the MD degree, although where he graduated is not recorded.[7] He travelled to New South Wales in the late 1830s, and moved to North Auckland in January 1840. He was a witness to the proceedings of the Treaty of Waitangi.[8] He began his practice as a doctor in Parnell, Auckland, in 1841.[7] In 1844 he was appointed as a coroner and held this post for four years.[3]

On 18 May 1846, Pollen married Jane Henderson, the daughter of an officer of the Royal Navy (Lieutenant Essex, RN, of Demarara). He moved with her to Kawau Island in 1847, after becoming medical officer to a Scottish copper-mining company.[3]

Entry into politics

Pollen spent several years on Kawau, during which time he began to contribute articles to The New Zealander supporting the agitation for responsible government. He was also to the fore in supporting temperance, scientific, and library movements there.

Auckland Province

When the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 became law, Pollen was made chief clerk in the Auckland Superintendent's office. From there, he rose through the ranks. Two years after his original appointment, he was appointed to the Executive Council, and in 1858 he was appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands for Auckland.[9] In 1856 he was elected to the Auckland Provincial Council for the Suburbs of Auckland electorate, where he served until 1861. From 1862 to 1865, he represented the Auckland East electorate on the Council.[10]

On 16 July 1861, he was appointed to the New Zealand Legislative Council.[11] In 1862, he resigned as Commissioner of Crown Lands, and became the Deputy Superintendent of Auckland, where he served until the end of his second term.[12] He resigned from the Legislative Council on 4 December 1867 to become agent for the Central Government at Auckland.[11]

He returned to the Legislative Council on 10 June 1868 to represent the Stafford Ministry. He resigned from the Legislative Council in 1870 to be agent in Auckland again.[2][13]

In 1870, Daniel Pollen held four positions - Receiver of Land Revenue, Commissioner of Confiscated Lands, Commissioner under the Native Land Act of 1870, and Immigration Officer.

Premier of New Zealand

The Vogel Ministry recalled him to the Legislative Council on 12 May 1873, where he became Colonial Secretary on 4 July 1873. He held this role until 13 October 1877 during various ministries.[14] He became Premier on 6 July 1875 and led the Pollen Ministry until 15 February 1876.[15] After he left this position, he was again appointed to the Legislative Council on 12 May 1873 and served for 23 years until his death on 18 May 1896.[11]

See also


  1. 1 2 A. H. McLintock, ed. (22 April 2009). "Pollen, Daniel (1813–96)". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage/Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 20 January 2011. Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  2. 1 2 3 Alexander H. McLintock, An encyclopaedia of New Zealand, vol. 2 (1966), p. 814
  3. House of Commons papers, 1812, p. 181: "Hugh Pollen, examined and sworn. What office do you hold under the Grand Canal company ? – Dock-master."
  4. The Treble Almanack, 1832 p. 144: "Grand Canal Floating and Graving Docks... near Ringsend. Dock Master, Mr. Hugh Pollen, Ringsend."
  5. D. Ruth Delany, The Grand Canal of Ireland (David & Charles, 1973): "Hugh Pollen died in 1837 and was succeeded by Thomas Pollen, who proved very unsatisfactory..."
  6. 1 2 L. K. Gluckman, Ann Gluckman, Mike Wagg, Touching on Deaths: a medical history of early Auckland (2000), p. 83: "DANIEL POLLEN (1813-1896) Pollen was born in Dublin although it is unknown whether he obtained his MD in Ireland or the USA. Similarly, it is uncertain when he reached New Zealand, but he signed the address of loyalty to Hobson at the Bay of Islands and witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. He entered practice in Parnell, in Auckland in 1841."
  7. Alex Frame, Salmond: Southern Jurist (Victoria University Press, 1995), p. 146, note 43
  8. Scholefield 1950, p. 181.
  9. Scholefield 1950, p. 185.
  10. 1 2 3 Scholefield 1950, p. 83.
  11. Scholefield 1950, p. 180.
  12. Scholefield 1950, pp. 33, 83.
  13. Scholefield 1950, pp. 35–36.
  14. Scholefield 1950, p. 35.


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Government offices
Preceded by
Julius Vogel
Premier of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Julius Vogel
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