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|5th Prime Minister of the Cook Islands|
29 July 1987 – 1 February 1989
|Preceded by||Tom Davis|
|Succeeded by||Geoffrey Henry|
|Born||9 April 1925|
|Died||26 April 2009|
Auckland, New Zealand
|Political party||Democratic Party|
Robati was from the island of Rakahanga. He completed his primary and secondary schooling in Manihiki and Rarotonga. He studied medicine at the Fiji School of Medicine and graduated as a surgeon in 1948. On returning to the Cook Islands, he worked in Rarotonga, Mangaia, and Atiu. In 1966, he received training from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Robati was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Cook Islands in the 1965 election as independent representing the district of Rakahanga. He was re-elected in the 1968 election, and in 1972 he joined the newly created Democratic Party. He was re-elected in eight more general elections as a candidate for the Democratic Party.
Beginning in 1978, Robati was the Deputy Premier in the Cabinet of Premier Tom Davis. On 29 July 1987, he succeeded Davis as Prime Minister after Davis retired from politics. During his 18 months as Prime Minister, the Parliament of the Cook Islands enacted a constitutional amendment that added a preamble to the constitution which recognised the "heritage of Christian principles" in the Cook Islands and declared that the people of the Cook Islands "remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day, being the day of the week, which, according to a person's belief and conscience, is the Sabbath of the Lord."[This quote needs a citation] The Cook Islands also successfully applied for membership in the World Health Organization during Robati's tenure.
The defeat of the Democratic Party in the election of 1989 ended Robati's tenure as Prime Minister. From 2001 to 2004, he was the Speaker of the Cook Islands Parliament. In the 2004 election, Robati lost his seat to the independent candidate Piho Rua. The election was later subject to an unsuccessful electoral petition. This defeat marked the end of its political career. At the time of his defeat, he was the longest serving Cook Islands MP.
In 2001, Robati was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
- "State funeral service for Sir Pupuke tomorrow", Cook Islands News, 2009-05-06