Hon Henry Puna
Prime Minister The Cook Islands
Hon. Henry Puna is the current Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and leader of the Cook Islands Party. He was sworn in as Prime Minister in November 2010 and it was under his premiership that the Cook Islands became a founding member of the Polynesian Leaders Group, a regional grouping aiming to cooperate on a range of issues including culture and language, education, climate change and, trade and investment.
He currently holds the position of Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) assumed with the successful hosting of the 2012 Pacific Islands Leaders Forum (PILF) in Rarotonga. The Cook Islands has set a policy goal for100% renewable energy by 2020 with a phased-in implementation plan that achieves 50% by 2015. They are the first Small Island Developing States (SIDS) member to complete and submit a Nationally Agreed Mitigation Action (NAMA) under the UNFCCC process.
Prime Minister Puna completed his education in Rarotonga and studied Law at the University of Auckland and the University of Tasmania in Australia. In further study at the Australian National University he completed the prescribed Professional Law course and was admitted to the Bar in Canberra and Sydney. Upon his return to the Cook Islands, he practiced law privately as a partner in a long established Cook Island Law firm and also served as a senior public servant heading the Ministries of Trade, Labour and Transport, Transport and Tourism. Prior to entering politics he established a large successful pearl farm in Manihiki.