Peter O’Neill

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
'Address to the National Press Club'
Thursday, 3 March 2016
Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm

Registrations for this event are now closed. Please contact reception for further details.

Peter Charles Paire O’Neill, CMG is the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. He is the leader of the People’s National Congress and represents the constituency of Ialibu-Pangia. He was sworn in on 4 August 2012 as the ninth Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

His mother, Awambo Yari, a Papua New Guinean, came from the Southern Highlands. His father moved to Papua New Guinea in 1949 as an Australian government field officer, later serving as a magistrate in Goroka until his death in 1982.

Prime Minister O’Neill grew up in the country of PNG, with a very basic upbringing. He was educated at the Pangia Primary School, Ialibu High School and Goroka High School. After leaving school he was educated at the University of Papua New Guinea, graduating with a Bachelor of Accountancy and Commerce in 1986.

Prime Minister O’Neill was a businessman before entering politics. As of 2011 he lives in Port Moresby with his partner and has five children; two daughters (Loris and Joanne O’Neill) and three sons (Travis, Brian and Patrick O’Neill). Prime Minister O’Neill was first elected to the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea in 2002 and became a minister in the same year.

He became the leader of Papua New Guinea’s opposition in 2004. He joined the government of Prime Minister Michael Somare in 2007, serving as treasurer. During Somare’s absence due to illness he served as works minister under acting Prime Minister Sam Abal.

In August 2011 he joined with opposition MPs. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was elected as the acting Prime Minister in a parliamentary vote on 2 August 2011 and was sworn in later in the day by the Governor-General.

Prime Minister O’Neill  was re-elected on the 6th August 2012 for the next 5 years. He holds the highest office in Papua New Guinea.The National Parliament of Papua New Guinea is the unicameral national legislature in Papua New Guinea. It was first created in 1964 as the House of Assembly of Papua and New Guinea, but gained its current name with the granting of independence in 1975.

The 109 members of the parliament all serve five-year terms. 89 members are elected from single-member “Open” electorates, which are sometimes referred to as “seats” but are officially known as constituencies. The remaining 20 are elected from single-member “Provincial” electorates, each covering a province-level division: the 18 provinces, the autonomous province of Bougainville (North Solomons), and the National Capital District. Each Provincial member becomes the Governor of the province, unless they take up a ministry, in which case the position of Governor passes to one of the Open members from the province.