By BOURA GORUKILA
AT 45, Peter Nupiri owns and runs two businesses and has served in boards of various public and private enterprises.
Peter, from Pasulin village in Mendi, Southern Highlands, owns BKC Contractors and the Mendi Traveler’s Inn.
His wife Rose Nupiri, an accountant, is from Western Highlands. They both run the family businesses. They have four children: Hossain, Pont, Nadia and Peter Jnr.
Peter began his education in grades one to six at Bela Primary School in Mendi from 1983 to 1990, then grades seven to 10 at the Magarima High School from 1991 to 1994. He completed grades 11 and 12 at the Mogol Secondary School in 1995 and 1996.
He then attended the University of Technology to study Civil Engineering from 1997 to 2000 before joining the Ok Tedi Mining Ltd as an engineer.
He worked his way up the ladder to become the mining manager, a post he held for six years.
“ Along the way, you go through a lot of challenges and also opportunities. And when an opportunity presents itself, take it, grab it, and make the most of it.”
He left Ok Tedi in December, 2013 and started his own businesses in 2014.
Peter was chairman of PNG Power Ltd from March 11, 2018 to February 27, 2021, and director of Kumul Mineral Holdings Ltd from November 2018 to November 2020.
He has also been a director of HBS PNG Ltd since September 2020.
He served as the first chairman of the Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority from 2015 to 2018, and is currently the deputy chairman. It helped him understand government services and functions.
“I was the first chairman of the new provincial health authority when it was introduced to SHP. We had to make the transition from the hospitals being run separately to the provincial health system.
“We had to amalgamate them under one administration and one structure. I believe we successfully achieved that. Despite the many challenges, we made some progress around control and ensuring that basic health services are provided to our people.”
He does his best to juggle time between running his business and his other roles.
“Board roles are not full time. I’m doing the full time job of running my family businesses.”
He spends time looking through board papers to keep in touch with what is happening of course.
“Once you understand the business, you know what’s happening. You stay on top of it every now and then.”
He is well-versed on what happens in the corporate world and how it functions.
His motto is never to give up without a fight.
“When I’m faced with a challenge, I want to get around it and get through it. I’m a very determined, focused person. I like challenges and I like to see and associate with people who are hardworking because I built my career over time. I worked my way up to be a mine manager and then all the way to the board level.
“You have to go through the journey to get to where you want to be. And when there are challenges, you have to face them and manage them the best way possible to get out of them. There are no short-cuts. There is no fixed way of managing everything but you have got to find how best to deal with the situation you are faced with.”
With all that experience amassed at a relatively young age, and with an impressive curriculum vitae to boot, becoming a politician has crossed his mind more than once.
“I want to be a politician – if I am lucky. Along the way, you go through a lot of challenges and also opportunities. And when an opportunity presents itself, take it, grab it, and make the most of it.”