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).
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.
- "Hon. 'Uliti Uata appointed as Minister for Health", Tongan government portal, 27 January 2011
- "MP ‘Uliti Uata tipped as new Health Minister", Taimi Media Network, January 22, 2010
- Biography on the website of the Tongan Parliament
- "Decision next week in Tonga on trial of sedition suspects". Radio New Zealand International. 2007-06-02. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Five acquitted on charges of seditious conspiracy in Tonga". Radio new Zealand International. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- "New Minister of Health", Matangi Tonga, 26 Jan 2011
- "Three Cabinet Ministers in Tonga resign ahead of confidence motion", Radio New Zealand International, 25 June 2012
- "PM's new Cabinet short of ministers", Matangi Tonga, 9 July 2012
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