Labour leader and journalist.
A new biography of Hogg, Robert appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Robert Hogg was born in Blochairn, Lanarkshire, in 1864. After working for 14 years as an engineer in the Post Office, he became owner-editor of a newspaper in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh. He played an active part in the Scottish Labour movement and was elected to the Musselburgh Council. In 1900 Hogg came to New Zealand. He took up land near Shannon, but gave up farming after a year and went to live in Wellington where he quickly assumed the leadership of the newly formed Socialist Party. While employed as a reader and, later, subeditor on the New Zealand Times he also edited the Socialists' Commonweal. In 1908 he unsuccessfully contested the Wellington South seat.
Due largely to Hogg's intransigence, the Wellington branch of the Socialist Party refused to join the new Social Democratic Party in 1913. Hogg was appointed editor of New Zealand Truth in that year, a position he kept until 1922. He soon severed all connection with the organised Labour movement, but he made full use of the columns of Truth to expose political and commercial scandals until he ran foul of the journal's Australian owners.
Hogg, who was related to James Hogg, the “Ettrick Shepherd”, wrote several volumes of poetry under the pseudonym of Robin Blochairn. He assembled a notable collection of books on Scottish literature which passed, after his death in Wellington in 1941, to the Alexander Turnbull Library.
by Herbert Otto Roth, B.A., DIP.N.Z.L.S., Deputy Librarian, University of Auckland.
- Evening Post, 9 May 1941 (Obit).