Aroha Edward Awarau (born Hawera, New Zealand) is an award winning journalist and playwright who won the 2008 New Zealand Magazine Journalist of the Year (Mass Market) at the annual Magazine Publisher’s Association Award. He was a finalist again for the same award in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. In 2013 he was awarded the NZ Celebrity and Entertainment magazine journalist of the year at the Magazine Publisher's Award.
He is a former news editor for the Woman's Day magazine, and a senior writer at New Zealand Woman's Weekly. He is currently a story producer for the Maori Television current affairs show Native Affairs.
Awarau is also a successful playwright, with his first play Luncheon, starring accomplished NZ actress Jennifer Ward-Lealand and directed by Katie Wolfe, winning Best Play at the 2014 New Zealand Script Writing Awards. His second play "Officer 27" was a finalist at the NZ Adams Playwriting awards and the New Zealand Script Writing Awards in 2016. His short film Home premiered at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto.
Awarau 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, Awarau 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.
Awarau 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 reality show So You Think You’re Funny?, a competition to find New Zealand’s funniest new comedian.
While still at high school Awarau was the first and so far the only writer to become 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.