sir bill skate



5th Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea


Name                          :         William (Bill) Jack Skate
Date of Birth              :           26 September 1953
Place of Birth             :           Kaugere, in Port Moresby
Occupation                 :          Former Member of Parliament; former Governor for NCD. Founder of the People’s National Congress Party (PNC)


  • Graduate Accountant


  • Skate became Manager of the Capital District Commission in 1987.
  • He was elected to Parliament in 1992 and served as Speaker from 1992 to 1994, supporting the Government of Paias Wingti.
  • Skate served as Governor of the National Capital District from 1995 to 1997.
  • He was Prime Minister from 1997 to 1999 and resigned after 18 months, fearing that he would lose a challenge.
  • In 2002, his political party the People’s National Congress Party (PNC) became a coalition partner in the government of Michael Somare and Skate became Speaker of the National Parliament. He was appointed acting Governor-General in November 2003, a constitutional requirement when that office falls vacant.
  • Sir Pato Kakeraya was scheduled to take up the office on 20 January 2004, but Skate continued to act in the office because of court challenges to Kakeraya's election.
  • On 3 March 2004, Skate was suspended as acting Governor-General because of allegations that he misappropriated funds during the 1990s.
  • He then advised the Prime Minister to appoint a Cabinet Minister as acting Governor-General. The following day, however, he was cleared of the financial charges in court, and he became acting Governor-General again.
  • In May 2004, his party left the coalition when he and other members refused to support a constitutional amendment supported by Somare which would have given the government more time to be immune to no-confidence votes. As a result, the PNC became the largest opposition party.
  • On 28 May 2004, Skate ceased to be Speaker when the Parliament elected a pro-government candidate, Jeffrey Nape. The Office of Governor-General was still vacant at that stage, so Mr Nape automatically succeeded Skate as acting Governor-General.
  • Bill Skate was knighted in January 2005 for services to Parliament, becoming Sir William Skate.
  • He died in hospital on 3 January 2006, in Brisbane, Australia where he had been airlifted after suffering a stroke in late December 2005. He was buried in Port Moresby.
  • He was the first Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to die.

Sir William (Bill) Jack Skate – In Office as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea:

  • 1997 - 1999ata Thomas Somare CGL, GCMG, CH, CF, SSI. KStJ, KSG