Sunday 20 December 2020
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has expressed sadness at the passing of former Prime Minister and current Member of Moresby North-West Hon. Sir Mekere Morauta.
Sir Mekere passed away peacefully in Brisbane , Australia , on Saturday December 19, 2020, after a long illness.
“I pass on my deepest condolences to Lady Roslyn Morauta and son James on the loss of their much-loved husband and father.
“Their loss is also felt by the people of his beloved Kukipi Village in Gulf, Moresby North-West and Papua New Guinea as a whole.”
Prime Minister Marape said Sir Mekere was a strong supporter of the current Government until his death.
“In fact, had it not been for his illness, Sir Mekere would have been very much a part of our team on Loloata Island,” he said.
Prime Minister Marape said Sir Mekere was an outstanding Statesman whose legacy would remain for decades to come.
“The biography and curriculum vitae of the late Sir Mekere provided by his family says it all,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“I want to quote from that.
“Sir Mekere was the first graduate in Economics from the University of PNG.
“He became a Member of the PNG 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 PNG Banking Corporation (1983-1992), Governor of the Bank of PNG (1993-1994), a company director and successful businessman.
“As Prime Minister, Sir Mekere is credited with initiating significant constitutional and economic reform.
“ In 1999, the PNG 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 PNG and laid the foundation for the orderly development of political parties.”
Prime Minister Marape said as Minister for Public Enterprises from 2011-2012, Sir Mekere 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,” he said.
“ The report was published in 2013.
“In 2012, he was also appointed Chairman of the PNG Sustainable Development Program Company.
“In 2017 he re-contested for Parliament and won the seat of Moresby North-West.”
Prime Minister Marape said Sir Mekere had set high standards for the country that would be hard to emulate.
Sir Mekere was born on 12 June 1946 in Kukipi Village, Gulf Province.