| New Zealand News | Friday April 6 2012 18:30
The first Maori Speaker of the House, Sir Peter Tapsell, has died.
He passed away in his sleep last night at his farm at Ruatoria.
He entered Parliament as a Labour MP in 1981 and remained until 1996.
Sir Peter was speaker of the House from 1993 to 1996.
Peter Tapsell was born and raised in Rotorua and educated at the local boys' high school.
He studied medicine at the University of Otago and overseas and was made MBE in 1968 for his services to medicine in the field of orthopaedics and to the Maori people.
He then stood for Labour in Rotorua, twice not being elected, but finally being voted in as local MP in 1981.
In the 1996 election he lost his seat to New Zealand First candidate Tuariki Delamere.
In retirement Sir Peter was involved in a number of organisations, and was patron of Monarchy New Zealand.
Sir Peter Tapsell was 82.
He was the father of two sons and two daughters.
His body is being taken to Maketu Marae tomorrow ahead of a tangi.
Picture: NZ Herald