Nahau Rooney

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Nahau Rooney is a former[1] Papua New Guinean politician.

She was one of three women elected to the 109-member National Parliament of Papua New Guinea during the country's first post-independence general election, in 1977. She was re-elected in 1982, becoming the only female Member of Parliament at that time, but was never subsequently returned to Parliament.[2] She represented the Manus Regional constituency in Manus Province.[3] She was still an active politician in the 1990s, standing unsuccessfully for Parliament in the 1997 general election.[4]

Following her election to Parliament in 1977, Rooney served as Minister of Justice in Prime Minister Michael Somare's Cabinet.[5] In 1979, during her term as Minister, she wrote to director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Egan, "urging intervention" in reaction to politician and businessman John Kaputin being charged with failing to file company returns. As a result, Egan had her sentenced to a nine-month jail term for contempt.[5] She was immediately released on licence by Somare.[6] She later served as Civil Aviation Minister.[7]

Rooney was married to Wes Rooney, an Australian who was later murdered (shot dead) on her home island of Manus.[5]

In the 2000s (decade), having mostly retired from politics, she was running a guest lodge on Manus Island.[8] She was also, however, President of the National Council of Women, and, in 2004, stood unsuccessfully for the position of Governor General.[9]

In 2006, she was honoured with the title Companion of the Order of the Star of Melanesia.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Clinton bestowed the title of ‘chief’", The National, 18 December 2006
  2. ^ Sepoe, Orovu, "To make a difference: Realities of women’s participation in Papua New Guinea politics", Development Bulletin, no. 59, 2002, p.40. (Electronic version)
  3. ^ "Women reps in House", Post-Courier, 29 May 2008
  4. ^ Results of the 1997 general election, Australian National University
  5. ^ a b c "PNG --30 YEARS ON; The Challenges, Successes and Tragedies", Rowan Callick, Islands Business
  6. ^ "Aussie barrister Kevin Egan wins appeal in Hong Kong", The Australian, 20 February 2009
  7. ^ "Keep us safe when we travel by air", Post-Courier, 12 September 2008
  8. ^ "Anger at refugee processing centre in PNG", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 19 November 2001
  9. ^ "13 candidates in latest PNG governor general's race". Radio New Zealand International. 28 April 2004. Retrieved 27 October 2011.