Lady Roslyn announces Sir Mekere’s passing

The wife of Sir Mekere Morauta, Lady Roslyn, announced that her husband died peacefully in Brisbane, Australia, on Saturday 19 December.

She said funeral arrangements will be advised at a later date.

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.

The late Sir Mekere 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, Sir Mekere was Secretary for Finance (1972–1982), Managing Director of the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (1983-1992), Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea (1993-1994), a company director and successful businessman.

As Prime Minister, he 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. Sir Mekere 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.

Press release