Kalani Tarawa is a Wellington based actor.
He is also a longtime Maori radical activist.
Some of Tarawa’s associates are linked to the “Urewera 17” and he himself is believed to have attended camps in the Ureweras.
Kalani Tarawa began his radicalism in the mid ’90s in Auckland.
In 1993 he was AIT Student’s Association Maori Laison officer. In 1995 he was Auckland University Student’s Association Maori Student’s officer with Tauni Sinclair.
Tarawa worked closely with Sinclair, Teanau Tuiono and Helen Te Hira in the radical Maori students organisation Te Kawau Maro. That group worked closely with the Auckland University Maoist student organisation, Radical Society.
Kalani Tarawa was arrested that year at an anti-Asian Develpment bank protest in Auckland with AUSA president and Radical Society member, Brendon Lane.
The same year Tarawa travelled to France with the ATOM delegation, proteting at Frenc nuclear testing in the pacific. he and some other delegates attended a festival organised by “Humanite“, newspaper of the French Communist Party.
Around 1996, Radical Society, NZUSA and the federation of university Maori groups Te Mana Akonga affiliated to the Asian Student’s Association.
The ASA was and is a pan Asian federation of Maoist leaning student’s organisations. The Communist Party of the Philippines student front, the League of Filipino Students, for example is a major ASA affiliate.
Tarawa’s Te Kawau Maro colleague Helen Te Hira (also a member of Radical Society)later worked at ASA headquarters in Hong Kong.
Early that year, Talani Tarawa and Dallas Pahiri represented Te Mana Akonga at ASA’s 13th conference in Hong Kong.
Tarawa used the conference as a springboard to the Asian radical scene.
He spent five months networking through Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and the philippines. This included time on the Thai/Burmese border and two months in the philippines with “indigenous activists“.
By 2001, Tarawa’s friend Teanau Tuiono was working in the Maori Internet Society with Rangi Kemara-later webmeister for the “Urewera 17.“
That year, Kalani Tarawa made a submission to the government backing the Maori Internet Society’s call to create a new second level domain “.maori.nz“
By 2002, Tarawa was assisting Rangi Kemara in running a UN backed website designed to facilitate international networking among indigenous activists.