He was initially a businessman, running several businesses including "inter-islands ferries, general store, tourism, and others", until he entered politics and "divested himself" of his businesses so as to focus on his political career and on his family (he has ten children). He is also the father of 12 children. He is the grandfather and great-grandfather of 150+ children! His wife, Luisa Mataele Uata,also is a distinguished baker and successful businesswoman.
Uata was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Tonga in 1975, and served as a People's Representative until 1980. After a break from politics, he contested the 1993 election and won the seat of Ha'apai. He has been re-elected in every subsequent election.
Uata was re-elected for an eighth term in the 2010 election, for the new single-seat constituency of Haʻapai 13, and nominated to the post of Minister of Health on 25 January 2011, following ʻAkilisi Pohiva's resignation from that position. In late June 2012, Uata -along with two other ministers- resigned from the Cabinet, so as to support a motion of no confidence tabled by his party (DPFI) against the government. He was succeeded as Minister for Health by Lord Tuʻiʻafitu.
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