Tapihana: Brothers in Arms
This is the story of the Tapihana brothers of Maketu. Retireti, Perepe and Ieni Tapihana (Tapsell) belonged to Ngati Whakaue of Te Arawa. They were sons of the Bay of Plenty trader Phillip Tapsell and Hine-i-Turama of Mokoia Island, Lake Rotorua. The Tapsell brothers spent their lives working in the interests of Ngati Whakaue and Te Arawa. They were soldiers, government officials and tribal leaders. They were committed to the idea that Maori should capitalise on the best that both the Maori and Pakeha worlds had to offer.
“… a much more detailed background to those three illustrious brothers than has previously been available. The whole Tapsell family have played a very significant part in the affairs of Te Arawa – in our history — and certainly added an extra element of pleasure to my life…” Dr Don Stafford, 14 February 2004.