Tepure Tapaitau

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Tepure Tapaitau QSM (died 14 November 2010) was a Cook Islands politician, Cabinet Minister, and Deputy Leader of the Cook Islands Democratic Party and also the first Cook Islander to become the Commissioner of Police.

Tapaitau trained with the FBI in the United States before studying law at the University of Auckland.[1] He served as Police Commissioner[1] before entering politics. He was elected to the Parliament of the Cook Islands at the 1994 election, representing the seat of Penrhyn. He served as a Minister in the Cook Islands Party government of Geoffrey Henry, holding the portfolios of marine resources, police and attorney-general. In 1997, he was accused by opposition MP Norman George of misappropriating government materials to build a house in his electorate, but was cleared.[2] He continued to serve in the Cabinet of Democratic Party Prime Minister Terepai Maoate, serving as Minister for Police and Minister of Marine Resources.[3]

In 2002 he was disqualified from Parliament, precipitating a by-election, which he lost.[4] He stood again for the seat as a Democratic Party candidate at the 2004 election, but was unsuccessful.[5] Despite holding the position of deputy leader of the Democratic Party, he did not contest the 2006 election.

In October 2006 he was appointed High Commissioner to New Zealand,[3] a position he held until 2010.[1] In August 2007 he was replaced as Deputy Leader by Wilkie Rasmussen.[6]

Tapaitau died in Cairns, Australia.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "PM pays tribute to Tapaitau". Cook Islands News. 2010-11-16. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  2. ^ Wilkie Rasmussen (1999). "Cook Islands in Review: Issues and Events, 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998". The Contemporary Pacific. 11 (1): 209. 
  3. ^ a b "Cook Islands names new top diplomat to NZ". Radio New Zealand International. 2006-10-22. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  4. ^ "Rasmussen provisional winner in Cooks by-election". Radio New Zealand International. 2002-07-01. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  5. ^ "First recount in Cook’s elections underway". Radio New Zealand International. 2004-09-20. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  6. ^ "Cook Islands Democratic Party elects a new deputy leader". Radio New Zealand International. 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2010-11-30.