Kararaina Uatuku, Tuhoe, grew up on the edge of the Te Urewera forest at Ruatoki with her grandparents. Te Urewera is where Kararaina formulated her worldview and she draws on those customs and traditions in both her professional and personal life. Her first language is Māori, and she is a second-language learner of English.
After graduating from Waikato University with a BA (Humanities) in 1995, Kararaina spent five years in the health sector working as a social worker at Rotorua Hospital. She is a licensed translator and has worked as a writer/editor at Huia Publishers and as a project coordinator at the Māori Language Commission for the monolingual dictionary project Te Matapuna. Currently Kararaina is a senior editor at Te Pou Taki Korero/Learning Media providing technical leadership within the Māori Publishing team.