Pita Kaua was born at Te Horo, Waiomatatini, the son of Akuhata Kaua and Hineititia Kaua née Wilkie. He was educated at Waiomatatini Primary School and Te Aute College. During the Second World War he was a 2nd NZEF Sergeant in the 28th Māori Battalion. After the war, Kaua worked as a government civil servant in the Lands and Survey Department in Wellington and in the Māori Affairs Department in Gisborne and Wellington. He was a Clerk of Court in Wellington and was a Senior Welfare Officer for the Māori Affairs Department in Gisborne. He retired in 1966. In 1970 he was one of three nominees for the Board of Māori Affairs appointed by the Governor-General. He was parish secretary for the parish of St Mary’s in Gisborne for ten years. Kaua wrote many articles for newspapers on Māori language, history, Māori land and land titles. He composed many songs. His wife Peggy writes "Peter wrote as the mood took him. He felt very strongly on Māori matters such as land, law, history and felt very deeply about certain kaumatua and would write with pride of their life and contributions to Māoridom. He loved singing, haka, and action song and some Pakeha tunes would appeal to him; the rhythm of certain tunes would see him with paper and pen composing Māori words to fit the tune and rhythm and make a perfect action song. Next he would work out actions to suit the melody and words." He was very knowledgeable on Māori land and titles in the Gisborne district. In 1972 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace and in 1979 was awarded the QSO for public services. He was a first-grade licensed Māori interpreter. He was a Māori All Black, a New Zealand Māori Tennis Representative, P.B. Golfer and P.B. Bowler. He was an expert in Māori arts particularly in singing and haka. He gave considerable service to the Māori people and community of Gisborne. He was a member of the RSA, Gisborne Bowling Club and P. Bay Golf Club.
- Correspondence from Peggy Kaua on 31 July 1998.
- Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 2.1 (1970/71):23.
- "Rapua Te Matauranga o Te Pakeha i roto i Te Ao Hou." Te Ao Hou 29 (1959): 22-24. In Māori.
- This story describes ‘the value of education’. Kaua won second prize for this story in Te Ao Hou’s fourth literary competition for work written in te reo Māori.
- "He Reo Aroha." No details.
- An unpublished song with words written in Māori by Kaua to the rangi ‘White Christmas’.
- "Taku Tau Aroha E." No details.
- An unpublished song with words written in Māori by Kaua to the rangi ‘Wait a little while’.
- "Kauria Ra e Pare." No details.
- An unpublished song with words written in Māori by Kaua to the rangi ‘White Cliffs of Dover’.
- "E Te Ope Tuatahi Hoki Mai." No details.
- An unpublished song with words written in Māori by Kaua to the rangi ‘There’s a goldmine in the sky’.
- "Te Moana Nui A Kiwa." Supplement to the Souvenir Programme. In Souvenir of the Ngarimu Victoria Cross Investiture Meeting and Reception to His Excellency the Governor-General Sir Cyril Newall: Whakarua Park Ruatoria, East Coast, 6 October 1943. Programme & Texts of Items. [Gisborne]: Gisborne Herald, : 7.
- This waiata is written in Māori by Kaua and accompanied in the comments section by an English translation. Kaua greets the members of the Māori Battalion and pays tribute to those fallen on the battlefield and particularly Moananui-A-Kiwa.
- "Origin of the Polynesians." Te Ao Hou 26 (1959): 21.
- Kaua gives a report of the lectures given by Dr M. Winiata, Dr Bruce Biggs, Mr J. Golson, Mr V. Fisher and Dr J. Stavely at a weekend school dealing with scientific evidence on the origin of the Polynesian people. The school was coordinated by the Regional Council of Adult Education. It was held at Te Poho-o-Rawiri Meeting House, Kaiti, Gisborne on 27-28 September 1958.
- "Appointment to Board." Te Māori: The Official Journal of the New Zealand Māori Council 2.1 (1970/1971): 23.
- An announcement of Kaua’s appointment by the Governor-General to the Board of Māori Affairs.