The regional university last year announced Puna as one of the five outstanding individuals from around the Pacific to receive the degree.
USP in a statement said Puna, who worked as a lawyer before entering politics, has an outstanding and dynamic political career spanning 15 years.
“Puna’s leadership and unwavering loyalty to serving his community and Party saw his re-election during the 2010 Cook Islands elections. On November 2010, he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Cook Islands, a position he continues to hold today.”
From July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, PM Puna held the role as the 23rd Chancellor of USP, and as Chancellor he advocated for lifelong learning opportunities meaningful to all Pacific Islands people.