Daniel Pollen

Biography

Daniel Pollen

Largely forgotten today, Daniel Pollen was considered a ‘safe man’ and a good administrator. In July 1875 he took over the premiership from Sir Julius Vogel, absent in Germany. But Harry Atkinson really ran things, and Pollen happily gave back the job when Vogel returned.

Pollen was already in the Bay of Islands in February 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. After moving to Auckland, this doctor developed a prosperous sideline as a brickmaker. He entered provincial politics in 1854 and national politics seven years later through the Legislative Council. Famous for sarcasm – ‘the velvet paw conceals sharp claws’, a contemporary observed – he cared little for pleasing the masses.

Pollen often treated patients unable to pay for his services and was liberal on most issues, though he grew more conservative with age. He retired from Cabinet in 1877, but sat in the Council until his death.

By Gavin McLean

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Matthew Fitzsimons

Posted: 26 Oct 2019

I'm not familiar with the Dublin, placename "Kingsend" the birthplace of Premier Danial Pollen. I assumed the name had changed after independence in 1921 or later. When I did a search I have only come across sparodic traces of Kingsend - but copious references to a place called Ringsend - which I know well have to walk to Ringsend from Westland Row school to practice football and collecting bread from the Bollands Bakery nearby. So I wonder if there is a mistake about the place name?