Pioneer Masters graduate wins Pomio seat

The member-elect for Pomio electorate in East New Britain Province, Mr Elias Kapavore is the first graduate of Divine Word University (DWU) to be elected to the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea.

Mr Kapavore and five other senior civil servants were the pioneer graduates of the Master of Public Administration (MPAdmin) program last year. The MPAdmin was introduced by DWU with the funding support from the Department of Personnel Management as part of a partnership arrangement with the University to improve the knowledge and skills of public servants.

Mr Kapavore won the recent by-election conducted for the Pomio seat in a field of 17 contestants.

The Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission conducted the by-election when the Pomio seat became vacant after the National Court in 2014 found the incumbent Mr Paul Tiensten guilty of misappropriating K10 million in public funds and sentenced him to nine years imprisonment with hard labour.

Mr Kapavore is the first DWU graduate to enter Parliament while two graduates of the former Divine Word Institute (the predecessor of DWU) in current Kundiawa-Gembogl MP Mr Tobias Kulang and the late Goilala MP Mr Daniel Mona were the first alumni members of DWI to be elected to the National Parliament in the 2012 National Election.

He studied for the MPAdmin while serving the Sandaun Province as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Vanimo General Hospital and later the CEO of the Sandaun Provincial Health Authority.

Mr Kapavore graduated with the MPAdmin along with fellow senior civil servants such as chief police fraud investigator Mathew Damaru, registrar of companies Alex Tongayu and Registrar of Intellectual Property Amelia Naaru.

Mr Kapavore and his five classmates successfully completed the following units to graduate with the MPAdmin: Public Administration Theory and Practice, Ethics and Leadership in the Public Sector, Managing Information and Technology - Public Sector, Disaster Risk Management and Conflict Resolution, Public Sector Human Resource Management, Public Finance and Budgeting, Administrative Law and Public Policy, Strategic Planning in the Changing Environment, Applied Research and Evaluation Methods and Applied Research Project.

Mr Kapavore is also a Bachelor of Management graduate of DWU, a study he undertook while also working in Vanimo through the popular flexible learning mode offered by the University for working class people who are unable to take up fulltime studies.