James Lagea is a Papua New Guinea politician. He has been a member of the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea since July 2007, representing the electorate of Kagua-Erave Open. He was initially elected on the PNG Conservative Party ballot line, but joined the governing National Alliance upon his election to parliament.
Lagea, a public servant before entering politics, first contested the Kagua-Erave seat at the 2002 election on behalf of the People's Progress Party, when voting in Southern Highlands Province was cancelled due to widespread violence. He again contested the supplementary election in 2003, but lost to incumbent People's Democratic Movement MP David Basua. Lagea challenged the result in the Court of Disputed Returns, but was unsuccessful.
Lagea served as the chairperson of the organising committee for the celebrations surrounding the 30th anniversary of Papua New Guinean independence in Southern Highlands during 2005. He contested the Kagua-Erave seat for a second time at the 2007 election as the candidate of the fledgling Papua New Guinea Conservative Party and was successful, defeating Basua. He subsequently joined the governing National Alliance Party and was appointed chairperson of the parliamentary citizenship committee. He has pledged to work with other elected MPs from the province in improving the development of the Southern Highlands' natural resources.