SIR MEKERE MORAUTA KCMG
6th Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
Date of Birth : 12 June 1946
Place of Birth : Kukipi Village, in East Kerema, Gulf Province
Occupation : Member of Parliament. Current Member for Moresby North-West.
Member of the People’s Democratic Movement Party (PDM)
- He was educated at local primary schools and at Kerema High and Sogeri National High School.
- He went on to study at the University of Papua New Guinea, where he obtained a Bachelor of Economics in 1970.
- He was also an exchange student at Flinders University in South Australia.
- After graduating from university he worked as an Economist in both the Public and Private sectors.
- In 1975 he was the first Papua New Guinean to be appointed Secretary of the Department of Finance, a position which he held until 1982. Other positions he has held include Managing Director of the Government's commercial bank, the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (1983–1992), and Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea (1992–1993), PNG's Central Bank.
- Sir Mekere was also a successful businessman after he retired from governing the Central Bank.
- From 1994 to 1997, he was Executive Chairman of Morauta Investments, Ltd. (Delta Seafoods and Morauta and Associates).
- After entering politics he withdrew from actively managing the firm and his wife Lady Roslyn Morauta took over the management of the firm.
- Sir Mekere was a member of the so-called "Gang of Four", a group of influential young civil service chiefs who played a leading role in holding together public administration and public policy in the formative decade or so after Papua New Guinea's independence in 1975.
- The other members of the group were Charles Lepani, Sir Rabbie Namaliu and Sir Anthony Siaguru. Sir Rabbie also later went on to become Prime Minister. Sir Mekere maintained from that period on a strong professional and warm personal relationship with the Australian Economist Ross Garnaut.
- Sir Mekere entered the National Parliament in July 1997 as the member for Moresby North-West.
- He was in 1998/99 Minister for Fisheries in the Government of Bill Skate that emerged from the 1997 elections.
- The Skate Government did not cope with the economic and political crises that beset PNG then and the government was defeated in a vote of no confidence.
- Sir Mekere was then elected by Parliament as Prime Minister with a huge majority in July 1999: 99 votes for Sir Mekere and 5 votes for his challenger.
- His Government was a reforming Government and developed policies to deal with the crises. Sir Mekere was re-elected in Moresby North-West in 2002 and 2007. However he was manoeuvered out of Government by Sir Michael after the 2002 elections.
- Sir Michael’s National Alliance Party (NA) was the biggest party with 19 out of the 109 seats as compared to 12 for Mekere's People's Democratic Movement. Sir Michael excluded Sir Mekere in the coalition building after the elections and Sir Mekere became Leader of the Opposition. However he was also deposed from that post by a coup within his party and spent 2004-2207 on the government bench. This is in PNG distinct from being in government.
- He was in Government again in the period of the 2011-2012 Papua New Guinean constitutional crisis. Sir Mekere was then Minister for Public Enterprises in the O’Neill/Namah Cabinet that was formed in 2011 after a vote of no confidence made an end to the Somare/Abal Government. In May 2012 he announced that, after fifteen years in Parliament, he would not stand for re-election and so left the Parliament in June 2012 However, he became during the O’Neill/Dion Government in the period 2012–2017 a player in major controversies. There were also calls on him to stand again. He decided therefore to give in to major pressures and stood again successfully in Moresby North-West in 2017.
Sir Mekere Morauta – In Office as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea:
1999 - 2002