It is very sad for me personally and as a Papua New Guinean to share this story here and I hope that it will get to those that have known and loved Sir Mek. Sir Mek was a great leader and person. Many as I are fond of him. I had the honour of knowing him and his wife Lady Roslyn during most of my professional years in media, politics, and the private sector. In 2017 when I returned to PNG he had agreed and opened my historical first PNG female fine arts exhibition in Port Moresby. I was extremely grateful for his time and know many people will have their own stories about Sir Mek.
Credit: This story was published earlier in “Papua New Guinea Today” and I’m glad I could share it.
Mekere Morauta KCMG
The Member for Port Moresby North-West and former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta has died. This was announced by lady Roslyn Morauta in a statement.
“It is with the deepest sadness that Roslyn and James Morauta announce that their much loved husband and father, Sir Mekere Morauta, KCMG, died peacefully in Brisbane on Saturday 19 December.
BIOGRAPHY – the Rt Hon Mekere Morauta KCMG
Mekere Morauta was the first graduate in Economics from the University of Papua New Guinea. He became a Member of the Papua New Guinea National Parliament in 1997 and was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2002. From 1997 to 2012 and 2017 to 2020 he held the seat of Moresby North-West in the national parliament.
Prior to entering politics, Morauta was Secretary for Finance (1972-1982), Managing Director of the PNG Banking Corporation (1983-1992), Governor of the Bank of PNG (1993-1994), a company director and successful businessman.
As Prime Minister, Mekere Morauta is credited with initiating significant constitutional and economic reform. In 1999 the Papua New Guinea economy was on the brink, with government finances in disarray and a currency that was spiralling to inconvertibility. Morauta devised and led a rescue package, which stabilised the economy and the budget. Key institutions of state were strengthened, and important reforms were introduced to the financial sector, especially in banking and superannuation, and to the structure and workings of the public sector. Constitutional changes were also introduced which brought stability to politics in Papua New Guinea and laid the foundation for the orderly development of political parties.
As Minister for Public Enterprises from 2011-2012, Morauta re-set the primary focus of the Independent Public Business Corporation, concentrating on strengthening it to undertake the important job of rehabilitating the state-owned enterprises.
After retiring from politics in August 2012, Sir Mekere was appointed by the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum as the Eminent Person to review the Pacific Plan. The report was published in 2013.
In 2012 he was also appointed Chairman of the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program Company.
In 2017 he re-contested for Parliament and won the seat of Moresby North-West.
Sir Mekere was born in 1946, in Kukipi Village, Malalaua District, East Gulf, to Morauta Hasu and Morikoai Elavo. His father, Morauta Hasu, was a leader of the Toaripi people of East Gulf, a Local Government Councillor, and Deacon of the London Missionary Society (later United Church). He was prominent in the Cooperative Movement for the Toaripi Association.
Funeral arrangements will be advised at a later date.