Vel Puke was born in New Plymouth and was educated at Waitara Secondary School and Victoria University where he graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. His main career has been in vocational guidance; he has worked throughout New Zealand but mostly in Wellington. He retired in the early 1990s. In the late 1970s, he was awarded a Winston Churchill Scholarship and went to the OECD in Paris where he looked at the effects of the economic downturn in other countries in connection with labour market policies and how it affects the employment of school leavers. On his return to New Zealand he wrote a report on his research which is housed at the Department of Internal Affairs. His writing has mainly been confined to in-house reports for the Education Department. He has also written stories for his mokopuna.
- Phone conversation and correspondence from Vel Puke, 30 Aug. 1998 and 13 Aug. 2004.
- "Planning for Your Children’s Future." Te Ao Hou 53 (1965): 17-18.
- Puke addresses the problem of young people’s lack of direction in their pursuit of careers and outlines the work of Vocational Guidance Officers in assisting young people in this area.
- Taylor, C. R. H. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon; Oxford UP, 1972. 40.