Peter O’Neill’s 2012-2017 Cabinet

After a brief wait, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has finally revealed his 33-Member National Executive Council (NEC) – or Cabinet.

The line up is heavily dominated by O’Neill’s winning People’s National Congress which boasts 13 Ministers. This is followed by Don Polye’s THE Party which has 4; William Duma’s United Resources Party has 3.

Patrick Pruaitch’s National Alliance, Sir Julius Chan’s People’s Progress Party, and Peter Ipatas’ People’s Party all have 2 ministers each; and Our Development Party, United Party, People’s Indigenous Party, People’s Democratic Movement, and Social Democratic Party are all represented by 1 ministerial post each.

Rounding up the 33 are 2 candidates who ran as Independents in PNG Election 2012 – Hon Richard Maru and Hon Kerenga Kua.

Of the 33, only one is a woman – Hon Loujaya Toni of Lae who will most likely take over Dame Carol Kidu’s old portfolio, Community Development.

In addition, it is interesting to note that of the 33, ten are first term MPs while twelve have served three terms or more in the Haus Tambaran. The remaining eleven are all in their second term.

Geographically, 10 are from the Highlands Region; 10 are from Southern; 8 are from Momase; and 5 are from New Guinea Islands. ‘Regionalism’ has again played a part in the decision-making of O’Neill and his coalition partners.

There are six party leaders in the 33, with three others – Sir Julius Chan (PPP), Paias Wingti  (PDM) and Peter Ipatas (PP) – all opting to not push their claim for ministerial portfolios, but instead have nominated younger MPs to take their places.

Furthermore, there are two coalition partners who have totally missed out on a ministerial portfolio – both Anderson Agiru’s People’s United Assembly (PUA) and Ronny Knight’s New Generation Party, although having pulled in 3 MPs and 2 MPs respectively for O’Neill, have not received a portfolio.

In observing this, it is important to note that currently two of the three PUA MPs – Anderson Agiru and Ati Wobiro are Govenors, and the third, Member for Pomio – Paul Tiensten, will be a candidate to replace Hon Leo Dion as the new Governor of East New Britain – courtesy of Dion’s elevation to Deputy Prime Minister.

Here are the 33 – I’ve listed them very loosely in what I perceive to be the pecking order based on their experience, background and standing in their respective political parties:

  1. Peter O’Neill (PNC) – 3rd Term; Ialibu-Pangia Open
    • Prime Minister
  2. Leo Dion (THE) – 3rd Term; East New Britain Provincial
    • Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Intergovernmental Relations
  3. Don Polye (THE) – 3rd Term; Kandep Open
    • Minister for Treasury
  4. James Marape (PNC) – 2nd Term; Tari Open
    • Minister for Finance
  5. Rimbink Pato (UP) – 1st Term; Wapenamanda Open
    • Minister for Foreign Affairs & Immigration
  6. Charles Abel (PNC) – 2nd Term; Alotau Open
    • Minister for National Planning
  7. Kerenga Kua (Independent) – 1st Term; Sinasina-Yongomugl Open
    • Minister for Justice & Attorney General
  8. Dr Puka Temu (ODP) – 3rd Term; Abau Open
    • Minister for Public Service
  9. William Duma (URP) – 3rd Term; Mt Hagen Open
    • Minister for Petroleum & Energy
  10. Patrick Pruaitch (NA) – 3rd Term; Aitape-Lumi Open
    • Minister for Forestry & Climate Change
  11. John Pundari (PP) – 4th Term; Kompiam-Ambum Open
    • Minister for the Environment & Conservation
  12. Mao Zemming (PNC) – 4th Term; Tewai-Siassi Open
    • Minister for Fisheries & Marine Resources
  13. Ben Micah (PPP) – 3rd Term; Kavieng Open
    • Minister for Public Enterprises & State Investment
  14. Byron Chan (PPP) – 3rd Term; Namatanai Open
    • Minister for Mining
  15. Jimmy Miringtoro (PNC) – 2nd Term; South Bougainville Open
    • Minister for Communication & Information Technology
  16. Francis Awesa (PNC) – 2nd Term; Imbonggu Open
    • Minister for Works & Implementation
  17. Ano Pala (PNC) – 2nd Term; Rigo Open
    • Minister for Transport
  18. Benny Allan (PNC) – 3rd Term; Unggai-Bena Open
    • Minister for Lands & Physical Planning
  19. Mark Maipaikai (THE) – 3rd Term; Kikori Open
    • Minister for Labour & Industrial Relations
  20. Loujaya Toni (PIP) – 1st Term; Lae Open
    • Minister for Community Development, Religion & Family Affairs
  21. Boka Kondra (PNC) – 2nd Term; North Fly Open
    • Minister for Tourism, Arts & Culture
  22. Paru Aihi (PNC) – 2nd Term; Kairuku-Hiri Open
    • Minister for Education
  23. Steven Kamma (URP) – 2nd Term; Central Bougainville Open
    • Minister for Bougainville Affairs
  24. David Arore (THE) – 2nd Term; Ijivitari Open
    • Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology
  25. Jim Simatab (NA) – 2nd Term; Wewak Open
    • Minister for Correctional Services
  26. Dr Fabian Pok (URP) – 2nd Term; North Waghi Open
    • Minister for Defense
  27. Micheal Malabag (PNC) – 1st Term; Moresby North West Open
    • Minister for Health & HIV AIDs
  28. Richard Maru (Independent) – 1st Term; Yangoru-Saussia Open
    • Minister for Commerce, Trade & Industry
  29. Davis Stephen (PP) – 1st Term; Esa’ala Open
    • Minister for Civil Aviation
  30. Nixon Duban (PNC) – 1st Term; Madang Open
    • Minister for Police
  31. Tommy Tomscoll (PDM) – 2nd Term; Middle Ramu Open
    • Minister for Agriculture & Livestock
  32. Paul Isikiel (PNC) – 1st Term; Markham Open
    • Minister for Housing & Urban Development
  33. Justin Tkatchenko (SDP) – 1st Term; Moresby South Open
    • Minister for Sports & the Pacific Games

~ by Tavurvur on August 8, 2012.

35 Responses to “Peter O’Neill’s 2012-2017 Cabinet”

  1. i cant see Mul-Baiyer MP Koi Trappe in the list where ios he??

  2. The biggest snub would be Tiensten and the PUA Party who have 4 members.

    • ‘Mere Olo’ – Tiensten’s PUA only has 3 elected MPs. As directed by the Alotau Accord, this would be they should have received at least one Ministry. Good point. I wonder what happened here? Biggest loser alright. Rgds, Tavurvur.

  3. By the appointment of the speaker, Peter O’neil may have created the beginning of his down fall!!! Now, we play “wait and see”..

  4. Keeping in line with the idea of “Regionalism”, an MP from the Southern region should’ve taken up Minister for Finance and Treasury. Since Speaker is from Momase region, Att. General is from NGI region…. Just thinking out loud.

    • ‘Skemii’ – Possibly. We don’t know yet who will be the Attorney General yet. Kerenga Kua or Rimbink Pato come to mind. Former AG Allan Marat is now with Belden Namah’s camp – so there will be a new Attorney General. Rgds, Tavurvur.

  5. and what Ministry was given to Justin Tkatchenko?

  6. I hear PM O’neil will retain the national planning ministerial portfolio with the opinion of abolishing national planning completely! If this happens it will be a positive outlook for all other ministries and departments in PNG!

  7. Is it just me, or does it seem that a 33 member cabinet drawn from a 111 member House (just less than a third of its membership) is a slight case of “over government?”

    • ‘B.P’ – It could be just you. I think it’s a good number. Keep in mind that PNG has a population of 7 million people. New Zealand has 4 million people and have 28 Ministers. Hmm? Rgds, Tavurvur.

  8. The works minstr shd be given to a wel expriencd persn who hve sound knowlge of the portflio, id prefer camilus Dangma?

  9. Have the details of cabinet arrived (who is handelling hwat portfolio).

  10. Excellent analysis as always. In fact, your analysis is better than that of the two PNG newspapers. Interesting to see Tommy Tomscoll making a comeback. I remember when I was in PNG in 2000, he was appointed as Minister for Energy (or Minerals?) and was sacked after only three weeks. You mentioned that this is Mr Tomscoll’s second term, but I thought this is now his third term, as he was elected in 1997, then was declared elected by the Supreme Court following his challenge to the election result in 2002? Keep up the great work!

    • ‘BCY’ – Thank you. I will have to have a look at this – not entirely too sure whether its his second or third term? Rgds, Tavurvur.

  11. Thank you very much Tavurvur for the great updates. I highly appreciate this updates in terms of the remote location I am where there is no media coverage. This updates has also answered my question on the previous story on who will be Governor for ENB.. Thumbs up for your excellent work.
    Rgrds, Stern

    • ‘Stern’ – You need to stop thanking me for my updates buddy! This must be the tenth time you’ve said that now. Hehe – not that I don’t like being thanked, but you need to be thanked too for reading what I write, and also for interacting with me too. So Thank You : ) Rgds, Tavurvur.

  12. Does Dion constitutionaly has to have a ministry to be DPM?? Polye came off 2nd best AGAIN, he would be better off being Works minister. PPP the biggest winner, Sir J stil has it. Think its fair in a sense just have how its all pens out.

    • ‘Mere Olo’ – Yes, Dion will have a Ministry too. I count about four Ministries which have not been allocated yet – so the assumption is that there will be some doubling up.

      Polye has come off second-best, but I think to a large degree, this was out of his control – he accepts and understands that it would be politically very difficult for him to be DPM while Peter O’Neill is PM – as two Highlanders occupying the two top posts would be frowned upon. Have a read of my earlier post:

      And yes, I would agree with you that PPP is indeed the big winner. They’ve done incredibly well in the election.


  13. I wonder if PM Oneil and his PNC party will ever get any support from the oldies (Wingti, Somare, Chan) in the fight against corruption? Will Oneil & his PNC party ever stand up for the grassroots cry and not fail like Somare & NA party did?
    I hope this is not another government of political convenience. We need a government that will stand up against corruption & make the beaurocratic system function and deliver needed services rather than politicize it.

    Regards//Bai Dusumi

  14. Very interesting the differing ideas and opinions on why and who got what. I believe PPP has come off badly, while Polye (THE) has done well in that Treasury, DPM, inter government, lands, and Bougainville affairs are all under (THE) party banner. These are all very key portfolios, with DPM, and Treasury being very senior powerful portifolios.

    Any way the proof will be in the pudding. Lets see what happens from here moving forward. Tavurvur, its over to you, let’s keep them honest.

    • ‘Pom Observer’ – Yes, it is interesting to note how different people have reacted to the announcement of this Cabinet. One man’s trash is another’s treasure – maybe even in politics? I can only help keep them honest – but we need 7 million of us, minus the 111, to be truly effective and to take PNG to the next level – and beyond. Rgds, Tavurvur.

  15. Cheers for that Tavuvur.. Great election coverage and now the update on this cabinate.. (Hopefully your not plagiarized by one of the dailies again).. Us in health are looking forward to having Michael Malabag as the health minister.

    Regards, Alex,

    • ‘Alexander Mel’ – I think Michael Malabag will do an excellent job as Minister for Health/HIV AIDS. Keep me up to date regarding developments in Health under his guidance via your Tweets or comments here on The Garamut.

      And yes, I’m keeping an avid eye out now for articles in the Post-Courier which may plagiarize my work. Not cool at all Post-Copier. Rgds, Tavurvur.

  16. All this portfolios will change in a month time. Then after 18 months Peter will be kicked. Keep watching.

  17. Think B.P. is correct – over 30 ministers is over-government. If PNG wants genuine reforms within portfolios then it will work better with quality of ministers, not quantity. Out of the 100+ parliamentarians we also must draw to the Executive Arm level (of Provinces) 21 Governors (who are critical to implementation of services). That’s about 50% of the House occupying important positions at Executive level. Is the talent-pool that big in Parliament? I think not.
    Ideally we would appoint a smaller number of most talented MPs and merge portfolios. But with a large, diverse and potentially fragile coalition then the incentive is to have more ‘rewards’to offer. And unfortunately portfolios are primarily seen as reward. The idea to create more to aid coalition building came from Somare, and Oneil is happy to continue.
    Speaking of Somare- is Mr Kua the sometime-family lawyer? The same gentleman who endlessly dreamed up frivolous and vexatious appeals and injunctions to endlessly frustrate court cases involving the S’s? Now responsible for promoting an efficient court system?

    • ‘Tommy Pukpuk’ – Valid points. Have a read of the below link, in which I comment on the idea of meritocracy-appointed Ministers:

      You are quite right about Ministries being used as rewards. It is a concern; it weakens our parliamentary system; but how does PNG effectively deal with this when according to our Constitution – minority governments are allowable? It will most likely always be a case of Ministerial jobs for coalition partners as reward – than otherwise.

      Yes, Mr Kua is the same. We’ll have to watch how he performs in his new role.


  18. I am pleased to see that Charles Abel has been given the job of Minister for National Planning. In my opinion he was one of the better performing Ministers in the last government.

    As expected Loujaya Toni was given the Religion, Youth and Community Development Ministry. Dame Carol Kidu did and excellent job when she was in charge of this Ministry. I hope Loujaya Toni gets good support from her Department because as a first time Minister and Member she will have big job juggling her electoral duties and a ministerial portfolio.

    On another note, I was interested to hear Loujaya Toni state in a recent radio interview state that she does not support the idea of having reserve seats for women in Parliament. I believe that her fellow MP in Delilah Gore thinks the same way
    Julie Soso on the other hand has stated that she will pursue the issue of 22 reserved seats for women as she thinks that there still isn’t enough women in Parliament It will be interesting to see how the issue of reserved seats for women plays out.

    • ‘Finah’ – Yes, it will be interesting to see how this progresses. We have 3 woman MPs out of this election. This is an issue which does divide opinion in PNG. This current team in Parliament have 5 years to work it out and make a decision. Rgds, Tavurvur.

  19. I hope it doesn’t take 5 years. There are 108 countries around the world that use some form of affirmative action or “temporary special measures” like reserved seats or poltical party candidate quotas to increase the number of women in Parliament. You are so right Tavurvur that this is still a very contentious issue – for anyone who wants more information on this issue in the Pacific context you may find helpful the UNDP publication that I co-authored “Utilising Temporary Special Measures to Promote Gender Balance in Pacific Legislatures” at I’m interested in what others think – should PNG use reserved seats to guarantee a minimum number of women MP’s?

  20. could we have the official sources link, please? thanks

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