4. Peter O’Neill
‘Peter Charles Paire O’Neill, CMG is the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea since 2011. He is born in Lalagam , Pangia , Southern Highlands Province on 13 February 1965.
O’Neill’s father, Brian O’Neill, was an Australian-born magistrate of partial Irish descent. 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, known in Tok Pisin as a kiap, later serving as a magistrate in Goroka until his death in 1982.
Peter O’Neill spent his first years of his youth in his mother’s village and entered his father’s urban household after going to secondary school. O’Neill was educated at the Pangia Primary School , Ialibu High School and Goroka High School .
After leaving school he obtained a Bachelor’s in Commerce at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) . This was followed by an honors degree in accountancy from UPNG. He obtained a professional qualification and became a Certified Practicing Accountant in 1989.
A year later he became President of the PNG Institute of Certified Practicing Accountants. Peter O’Neill became a partner in Pratley and O’Neil’s accounting firm. He combined this with a substantial number of directorships, often as Executive chairman.
5. Paias Wingti
Paias Wingti is a Papua New Guinean political figure. He served as the 3rd Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea between 1985 and 1988, and again from 1992 to 1994.
Wingti is a member of the Jika Tribe of the Western Highlands province, and was born in Moika village, near Mount Hagen. He did not go to school until the age of 10, but was later educated at Mount Hagen High School.
He enrolled at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby in 1974, and first visited Australia as an Australian Union of Students delegate for the UPNG Student Representative Council. While doing his final year in Economics at university, he contested the 1977 election, and won the Hagen Open seat, joining Michael Somare’s Pangu Party.
He served as Minister for Civil Aviation from 1978 until the defeat of the first Somare government in 1980, and when Somare returned to power in 1982, became Deputy Prime Minister. He split with the Pangu Party in 1985 and formed the People’s Democratic Movement, becoming Leader of the Opposition.
In November 1985, he moved a successful no-confidence vote against the Somare government and became the third Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea aged 34. Julius Chan, the second Prime Minister, served as Wingti’s deputy. He was made a Privy Councilor in 1987.
6. Don Polye
Don Pomb Polye is a senior Papua New Guinean politician from Enga Province. He has been a Cabinet Minister under two Prime Ministers to date, and was briefly Deputy Prime Minister from July to December 2010. Earlier, he has held Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Transport, Civil Aviation, Finance and Treasury portfolios.
Polye was first elected in 2002 to the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea representing the Kandep Open electorate as a member of the National Alliance Party. He was the Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation from July 2006 to August 2009.
Sir Michael Somare, the Prime Minister, appointed Polye to that position in July 2006 as part of a Cabinet reshuffle. He was also Deputy Prime Minister from July 2006 until August 2007. As Minister for Civil Aviation he introduced an “open air” policy ensuring that Air Niugini faced competition from other airlines starting from 2007.
Polye was rushed from a political rally in his Kandep electorate in June 2007 after shots were fired. A rival candidate for his seat was later charged with attempted murder.