Tom Marsters

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Sir Tom Marsters

Tom Marsters 2011.jpg
Marsters in 2011
Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands
Assumed office
27 July 2013
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Preceded byFrederick Tutu Goodwin
Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands
In office
10 December 2010 – 10 June 2013
Prime MinisterHenry Puna
Preceded byRobert Wigmore
Succeeded byTeariki Heather
Personal details
Born (1945-08-04) 4 August 1945 (age 74)
Palmerston Island, Cook Islands
Political partyCook Islands Party
Alma materAvele College
Grimsby Institute

Sir Tom John Marsters, KBE (born 4 August 1945) is the 7th Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands. He is a former Deputy Leader of the Cook Islands Party and Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands.

Personal life[edit]

Marsters was born on Palmerston Island and educated at Nikao and Avarua Primary Schools before attending Avele Agriculture College in Samoa and Grimsby Institute of Technology in the United Kingdom.[1] Before entering politics he worked as a public servant. He was Secretary of the Cook Islands Party from 1968 to 1999.

He was first elected to Parliament for the seat of Murienua in a by-election in 1991.


Marsters served as Minister of Works in the Cabinet of Geoffrey Henry, but resigned his position in 1997 in protest at budget cuts.[2] He later served as a Minister in the first coalition Cabinet of Robert Woonton from 2002, but was sacked in 2003 after a coalition realignment.[3] He rejoined Cabinet after the 2004 election, when Woonton was trying to put together a new coalition;[4] when Woonton resigned to fight a by-election, he served in the Cabinet of Jim Marurai, holding the portfolios of foreign affairs, transport, and youth and sport.[5]

In August 2005, Marurai sacked Cook Islands Party leader Geoffrey Henry from Cabinet,[6] causing the CIP to reconsider its role in government. A month later, Marsters was also sacked, and the coalition formally dissolved.[7]


The retirement of Geoffrey Henry in 2006 led to a leadership election, which saw Marsters replaced as Deputy leader by Tupou Faireka.[8] However, both Faireka and party leader Henry Puna lost their seats at the 2006 election. After a short period in which Puna continued to serve as leader outside parliament, Marsters became leader of the opposition.

Deputy Prime Minister[edit]

Marsters returned to Cabinet in December 2010, after the Cook Islands Party won the 2010 elections, serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.[9][10]

Queen's Representative[edit]

On 5 June 2013 Marsters was appointed Queen's Representative, replacing Frederick Tutu Goodwin.[11] He resigned from Parliament on 25 July 2013 to take up the role,[12] precipitating the 2013 Murienua by-election. He was reappointed for a second three-year term in July 2016.[13] In the 2018 Birthday Honours he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[14]


  1. ^ "Tom John Marsters". Cook Islands Government. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  2. ^ Wilkie Rasmussen (1999). "Cook Islands in Review: Issues and Events, 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998". The Contemporary Pacific. 11 (1): 207.
  3. ^ "Cook Islands deputy PM sacked". Radio New Zealand International. 30 January 2003. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Former Cooks cabinet minister says PM breaching party rules". Radio New Zealand International. 18 November 2004. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Cook Islands coalition appoints minister for sport". Radio New Zealand International. 17 December 2004. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  6. ^ "New Cook Islands government after deputy PM dumped". Radio New Zealand International. 9 August 2005. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Cook Islands PM sacks two more ministers". Radio New Zealand International. 12 September 2005. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  8. ^ "New leader of Cook Islands Party looks forward to challenge". Radio New Zealand International. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Cooks PM announces cabinet line up". Radio New Zealand International. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Who's who in Cabinet". Cook Islands Government. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Marsters appointed new QR". Cook Islands News. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  12. ^ "By-election next month". Cook Islands News. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  13. ^ Rashneel Kumar (28 July 2016). "QR reappointed three more years". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  14. ^ "No. 62311". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 9 June 2018. p. B38.

External links[edit]

  • Profile at Cook Islands Parliament.
Government offices
Preceded by
Frederick Tutu Goodwin
Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands