Archives for June 2021


Today, there are only two publications still in existence in New Zealand that began life over 100 years ago.


Dunedin’s daily newspaper, The Otago Daily Times, has the longest history of daily publication in New Zealand. The first edition rolled off the press way back on 15th November 1861. It was founded by Julius (later Sir Julius) Vogel, an Englishman who arrived in New Zealand in 1861when Otago was in the grip of gold fever. The enterprising young man saw immediate possibilities for a daily paper to serve a rapidly growing population flocking to the region as new gold rushes occurred.

He went into partnership with William Cutten, a publisher who had created a weekly newspaper, the Otago Witness, ten years earlier, to form the Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspaper Company. The completion of a telegraph line from Campbelltown (now called Bluff) to Dunedin in August 1862 allowed the Otago Daily Times to gain quicker access to international news as Bluff was the first New Zealand port of call for ships carrying English and Australian newspapers. He arranged for summaries of the foreign news to be prepared by an employee of the Argus newspaper in Melbourne, who then put on a mail ship and then dispatched by telegraph to the ODT when it arrived in Bluff. When the telegraph line reached Hokitika, he also arranged for international news arriving on ships that made landfall there to also be dispatched to Dunedin. Originally, he reserved the information as sole use of the Otago Daily Times. read more