Taneti Maamau

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Taneti Maamau
Maamau in 2023
6th President of Kiribati
Assumed office
11 March 2016
Vice PresidentKourabi Nenem
Teuea Toatu
Preceded byAnote Tong
Personal details
Born (1960-09-16) 16 September 1960 (age 63)
Onotoa, Gilbert and Ellice Islands (now Kiribati)
Political partyTobwaan Kiribati Party
SpouseTeiraeng Tentoa Maamau
Alma materUniversity of the South Pacific
University of Sydney
University of Queensland

Taneti Maamau (modern spelling: Taaneti Mwamwau, born 16 September 1960[1]) is an I-Kiribati politician who has served as the 5th President of Kiribati since 11 March 2016.

Political career[edit]

A member of Tobwaan Kiribati Party, he began his career in public service as a Planning Officer with the Ministry of Finance before becoming Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.[2]

In 2002, Maamau resigned from public service to join politics and won in 2007 one of the two seats for his constituency home island Onotoa. In 2011 and in 2015, he was re-elected a member of the Maneaba ni Maungatabu (parliament).[3] He previously served as the Finance Secretary under President Teburoro Tito.[citation needed]

Maamau contested for the 2016 presidential election, where he was supported by a new coalition of the Tobwaan Kiribati Party. He received the support from former president Teburoro Tito, the predecessor of Anote Tong.[4] He won the election and was officially declared President after winning against the ruling party by nearly 60%. He began his first term on 11 March 2016.[5][6]

In August 2018, he was installed as the Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific.[7]

In September 2019, Maamau ended Kiribati's diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China. The decision comes after Taiwan dismissed Maamau's request of "massive financial assistance to purchase commercial air planes".[8] As a result, his governing party lost the majority in the 2020 parliamentary elections from 34 seats to 22.[9]

He ran for re-election in the 2020 presidential election against former party member Banuera Berina of Boutokaan Kiribati Moa Party. Taneti won the election by 59% of the vote and was officially sworn in for his second term on 24 June 2020.[10]

In August 2020, Maamau announced his plans to seek support from China and other diplomatic allies to raise the islands of Kiribati.[11] This is in response to the looming threat of sea level rise and climate change.[12]

In October 2020, Maamau along with four other Micronesian leaders threatened to withdraw from the Pacific Island Forum if their nominee is not chosen as Secretary-General adding that "Micronesia would remain resolute and united in its position to take the wheel of the Forum helm".[13][14] He wrote a letter in July 2022 that Kiribati withdraws.[15] .

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "President Taneti Maamau", Republic of Kiribati Presidential Web Portal
  2. ^ "President Taneti Maamau biography | President Taneti Maamau". Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  3. ^ "Maneaba Ni Maungatabu" (PDF). Parliament.gov.ki. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  4. ^ "Pacific Islands News Association : PACNEWS - News reader". Pina.com.fj. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  5. ^ "Taneti Maamau declared new president of Kiribati - Fiji Times Online". 2016-03-11. Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  6. ^ RB. "Kiribati: un nouveau président élu à la place d'un champion de la cause climatique". TAHITI INFOS, les informations de Tahiti (in French). Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  7. ^ "Chancellor". University of the South Pacific. August 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  8. ^ Lyons, Kate (2019-09-20). "Taiwan loses second ally in a week as Kiribati switches to China". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  9. ^ Pala, Christopher (2020-04-24). "Pro-China Kiribati president loses majority over switch from Taiwan". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  10. ^ "Kiribati's pro-China leader wins re-election in blow to Taiwan". Reuters. 2020-06-23. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  11. ^ The Conversation (14 August 2020). "Pacific People Have Been 'Pummelled And Demeaned' For Too Long – Now They're Fighting Back". www.scoop.co.nz. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  12. ^ Pala, Christopher (2020-08-10). "Kiribati's president's plans to raise islands in fight against sea-level rise". the Guardian. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  13. ^ "Micronesian countries challenge PIF to appoint their joint candidate or face mass withdrawal from PIF". FijiTimes. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  14. ^ "Micronesian nations to withdraw from forum if concerns not heeded". RNZ. 2020-10-04. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  15. ^ "Kiribati withdraws from Pacific Islands Forum". Radio New Zealand. 10 July 2022.
Political offices
Preceded by President of Kiribati