Arawa was born and raised in Temple View, just outside of Hamilton, New Zealand. He is the second youngest in his family, and his twin brother Wineera also plays flanker for the Warriors. Ara started playing rugby in elementary school and showed a lot of promise making multiple age-grade representative teams. While captaining the CCNZ 1st XV under Coach Alf Daniels, Ara made the Waikato U14, U15, U17 and U19 provincial teams. After spending a season in Utah playing for Highland he served an LDS mission in Fresno, CA then moved to Provo to attend BYU in 2013. At BYU Ara became a First team All-American, and Captain winning multiple National Championships. Ara is married to wife Ivy, and they have a son Te kanawa. He graduates from BYU this year in Construction and Facilities Management.