Early life 
Waru obtained positions in radio and television from the 1970s. In 1980, he headed the original Television New Zealand Māori production unit. Waru directed a broad range of Māori programmes, including the first ever full Māori language drama project, Te Ohaki a Nihe, and items on the Te Māori exhibition.
In the 1980s Waru produced and directed a revolutionary documentary series, The Natural World of the Māori, various film and television productions in New Zealand and in Australia, as well as an IMAX production under the East-West Center in Hawaii. In the 1980s he was appointed as chief executive of the Aotearoa Māori Radio Trust, charged with the development of a national Māori radio system.
In the 1990s Waru was co-producer of the major history series, Our People, Our Century, a winner at the 2000 New Zealand Film and TV Awards, and he produced Toro Mai, a 25-part serial drama in te reo.
In 2012 Waru published "Secrets & Treasures" which consists of "stories told through the objects at Archives New Zealand" and which "delves into the archives to tell a very human story of New Zealand, a story that involves love, death, war, immigration, disaster, protest, defiance, censorship and hokey pokey".
- Rick Maxwell, St Peter's College, Auckland, Simerlocy Press, Auckland, 2008, p. 21.
- TVNZ web site: the making of Frontier of Dreams.
- Bronwyn Dalley & Gavin McLean, Frontier of Dreams: The Story of New Zealand Hodder Moa, 2006, p. 9.
- Queen's Birthday Honours List 2006, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- Ray Waru, Secrets & treasures : our stories told through the objects at Archives New Zealand, Random House, Glenfield, Auckland, 2012 (ISBN 9781869796891).
- Secrets and treasures, Back cover.