Tapsell first arrived in New Zealand at the Bay of Islands on the New Zealander on 26 March 1810. He was married three times. The first marriage was to Maria Ringa, conducted by the missionary Thomas Kendall in the Bay of Islands on 23 June 1823, and claimed (by Tapsell himself) as the first Christian wedding in New Zealand. In 1828 or November 1830 he settled in Maketu and began trading flax. His third wife was Hine-i-turama Ngatiki, who was killed in the Battle of Orakau.
- Parham, W. T. "Tapsell, Phillip". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- Salmond, Anne. Between Worlds. 1997. Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd. ISBN 0-670-87787-5.
- 'Rotorua', from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 23-Apr-09
- Tapsell, Mark. "Hine-i-turama Ngatiki". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2016.