Jim Marurai (born 9 July 1947) is a Cook Islands politician and former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Marurai was born in Mangaia. He attended Ivirua and Oneroa Primary school and then Tereora College on Rarotonga and Napier Boys' High School in New Zealand. He later studied at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Marurai's wife, Tuaine Marurai, died on 14 September 2005 in Auckland, New Zealand at the age of 56 after suffering from cancer. She was buried on her home island of Mangaia.
Marurai was first elected to Parliament in a by-election in 1994. He served as an opposition backbencher until June 1999, when he was appointed to the coalition Cabinets of Geoffrey Henry and Joe Williams. Following the election of a Democratic Party 1999 election he served in the Cabinet of Terepai Maoate. Following Maoate's ousting in February 2002 he continued to serve as a Minister under Robert Woonton.
Marurai was elected Prime Minister in December 2004 after Woonton resigned in the wake of the 2004 election. Due to internal disputes, he left the Democrats in 2005 to form the Cook Islands First Party, governing in coalition with the Cook Islands Party. This agreement later broke down, and he formed a new coalition with the Democrats. He returned to the Democrats before the 2006 elections, remaining Prime Minister but not becoming party leader.
In May 2006, Marurai had a private audience and courtesy call with Emperor Akihito of Japan at the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Marurai visit was part of the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 2006), which was held in Okinawa on 26–27 May 2006.
On 23 December 2009, Marurai sacked his Deputy Prime Minister, Terepai Maoate, sparking a mass-resignation of Democratic Party cabinet members He was subsequently expelled from the Democratic Party.
In January 2010, facing the prospect of a vote of no confidence supported by a majority of Members of Parliament, Marurai announced that he would not be "calling parliament for at least several months". He said that no parliamentary sitting was needed until it became necessary to vote the budget, the deadline for which was 1 July. Both major political parties – the Democratic Party and the Cook Islands Party - jointly asked the Queen's Representative to recall Parliament, but the latter is constitutionally prevented from acting except on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Marurai was readmitted to the Democratic party at a party conference in June 2010. He subsequently announced that he would not continue as Prime Minister if the Democratic Party won the 2010 election. Marurai was re-elected to his Ivirua seat in the 2010 elections, but his party was ousted. He resigned as Prime Minister on 29 November 2010, and continues to serve as a backbench MP.
Despite saying that the 2010 term would be his last, Marurai stood again for Ivirua in the 2014 election and was elected unopposed.