Story: Te rāngai mahi – Māori in the workforce

Phillip Tapsell, trader

Phillip Tapsell, trader

Phillip Tapsell was the assumed name of Hans Homman Jensen Falk. He was from Denmark and made his way to New Zealand around the early 1820s. His first Māori bride left him on the same day as the marriage. He went on to marry Karuhi, a daughter of the Ngāpuhi chief Wharepoaka. At the invitation of Te Arawa chiefs he settled at Maketū, where he supplied muskets and powder for flax. When Karuhi died Tapsell married Hine-i-turama, a high-ranking woman from Ngāti Whakaue. Like a number of early traders he was under the mana of the tribal groups amongst whom he lived.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Cowan Collection (PAColl-3033)
Reference: 1/2-005486-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Te rāngai mahi – Māori in the workforce - European contact', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 April 2024)

Story by Basil Keane, published 11 Mar 2010