Wigley, Rodolph Lysaght

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Rodolph Lysaght Wigley

South Canterbury sheepfarmer's son Rodolph Wigley co-founded a transport company in 1904, specialising in traction-engine haulage and contract harvesting.

His early interest in tourism and cars led him to import Darracq service cars the start of the Mount Cook Motor Service.  The business collapsed in 1907 but in 1912 Wigley took over the assets and restarted operations as the Mount Cook Motor Company, which acquired the lease of The Hermitage, Mt Cook, redeveloping the hotel and environs.

Wigley transformed the motor company, which by 1930 was the largest tourism operator in the country. It became the Mount Cook Group in 1976 and is now part of Air New Zealand.