Patrick Pruaitch is the member from Aitape-Lumi in East Sepik province, and the leader of the National Alliance party, formerly the most numerous and powerful party in Government (pre-2011) led by former Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare. During the 2002-2007 Somare government, Pruaitch served as Minister for Forestry; he was then made Minister for Treasury and Finance (when the portfolios were still combined) in the second Somare government, where he served from 2007 to 2010. Under the O'Neill-Dion government formed in August 2012 after the most recent general elections, Pruaitch regained the portfolio of Minister for Forestry. Coalition dynamics have shifted in recent months, and Pruaitch’s role as leader of a now-smaller but still powerful party – plus his previous experience in the Treasury role - contributed to his being allocated this portfolio in early March 2014. Before entering politics in 2002, he held a series of positions in South Pacific Holdings (consumer products) and Shell PNG Ltd. (oil and gas).