Puna grew up on Aitutaki. After graduating from the University of Auckland in New Zealand he worked as a teacher. At the 1979 election he was elected as MP for Arutanga-Reureu-Nikaupara. He went on to serve as Minister of Education in the Cook Islands Party government of Geoffrey Henry. After retiring from politics at the 1999 election he was appointed Speaker of the House, a position he held until 2001.
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