Robert Wigmore

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Robert George Wigmore (8 September 1949 – 13 April 2012) was a Cook Islands politician and former Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and Cabinet Minister. He was leader of the Cook Islands Democratic Party.

Wigmore was born on Rarotonga.[1] He was educated in Titikaveka, and worked as a farmer.[2] In 1985 he was elected President of the Cook Islands Producers Federation.[2] He was first elected to Parliament as a Democratic Party candidate for the seat of Titikaveka at the 1999 election. He served as an under-secretary to Prime Minister Robert Woonton before being appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture in November 2002.[3] At the 2004 election he apparently won his seat on the night, but the result was overturned three months later by an electoral petition.[4] In the intervening period there was a leadership dispute within the Democratic party, in which Wigmore remained neutral.[5]

In 2005, in a further ruling on the 2004 electoral petition, the Cook Islands Court of Appeal upheld a High Court finding that Wigmore had bribed piggery owners in his electorate in an effort to gain their vote.[6][7]

At the 2006 election, Wigmore's election in the seat of Titikaveka was declared invalid by an electoral petition. He was re-elected in a by-election on 7 February 2007.[8]

Wigmore rejoined the Cabinet in July 2009, replacing former Tourism Minister Wilkie Rasmussen who had been sacked for disloyalty.[9] On 23 December 2009, Wigmore was appointed Deputy Prime Minister, replacing former Prime Minister and Democratic Party leader Terepai Maoate.[10] He was subsequently expelled from the Democratic party,[11] but a party conference in June 2010 restored his membership and appointed him party leader, with Rasmussen as his deputy.[12] He served as Foreign Minister and Minister of Agriculture until the 2010 election.[13]

Wigmore was re-elected at the 2010 election. In December 2011 he took a leave of absence from Parliament to allow him to be treated for prostate cancer in New Zealand.[14] He died on 13 April 2012.[2]


  1. "Robert Wigmore". Cook Islands Parliament. Retrieved 2009-12-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "'Man of wisdom' honoured". Cook Islands News. 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-07-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "New minister joins Cook Islands cabinet". Radio New Zealand International. 2002-11-17. Retrieved 2009-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Cook Islands Party candidate wins petition against election result in Titikaveka". Radio New Zealand International. 2004-12-10. Retrieved 2009-12-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Cook Islands minister remains neutral for time being". Radio New Zealand International. 2004-11-19. Retrieved 2009-12-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Wigmore v Matapo (2005) CKCA 1; CA 14.2004". 2005-08-19. Retrieved 2009-12-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Cooks PM, ex-PM and cabinet minister implicated in bribery complaint". Radio New Zealand International. 2005-11-09. Retrieved 2009-12-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Tomorrow set down for final count from Cook Islands by-election". Radio New Zealand International. 2007-02-08. Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Cook Islands sacked Foreign Minister has no regrets". Radio New Zealand International. 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-12-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Cooks Deputy Prime Minister replaced, prompting a walkout". Radio New Zealand International. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2009-12-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Cooks Democratic Party expels four members still in government". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2010-04-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "New leadership for Cook Islands Democratic Party". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2010-06-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Ministerial portfolio allocations (as of January 5)". Cook Islands News. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2010-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Wigmore on medical leave until March". Cook Islands News. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2012-07-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Profile at Cook Islands Parliament.