Aroha Awarau

Aroha (Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Porou) is a playwright and magazine journalist. He won Best Play at the 2014 SWANZ, and New Zealand Magazine Journalist of the Year (Mass Market) at the annual Magazine Publisher’s Association Awards in 2008 and 2013. He has been a news editor for the Womans Day magazine and the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. While still at high school, Aroha was a three-time winner of the Ronald Hugh Morrieson Literary Award. The annual award was created by the South Taranaki District Council to commemorate Hawera’s most famous author, Ronald Hugh Morrieson.

Aroha has a degree in Film and Television from the University of Waikato and a journalism degree from the Auckland University of Technology. After leaving Waikato University in 1998, Aroha worked in the New Zealand film industry for two years, working on films such as What Becomes of the Broken Hearted and The Price of Milk.

He also had a short stint as a stand-up comedian, becoming a finalist in the Raw Quest, a national competition to find the best new comedian, and appeared as a contestant in the TV One reality show, So You Think You’re Funny?. 

Aroha has had a radio play produced and aired on Radio New Zealand, and had three short stories published in the book Is There Something in the Water?.

Aroha received NZ Film Commission funding to produce a short film he wrote called Home, which had its international premiere at the ImagineNATIVE festival in Toronto.

In May 2014 Aroha’s first play, Luncheon, was staged at The Basement Theatre in Auckland, and in September 2015 Aroha’s second play, Officer 27, was staged at the same venue.