Francis Tipene

Birth Name: Francis A. Tipene

Place of Birth: St Helen’s Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand

Date of Birth: December, 1983

*father – Tongan, distant Swiss and Samoan
*mother – Māori

Francis Tipene is a funeral director. He is known for TVNZ’s docu-series The Casketeers.

Francis is the son of Helen Tipene and Francis Muller. His father is of Tongan descent. His mother is Māori. He is of Te Aupōuri and Te Rarawa iwi. Francis was raised by his maternal grandparents, Helen and Wally Tipene. He is married to Kaiora Tipene and has six children.

Francis’ maternal grandfather was named Walter (Wally) Tipene. Wally was from Pawarenga, North Island, New Zealand.

Francis’ maternal grandmother is Helen Wharewaka (the daughter of Nikora Nicholas Wharewaka and Ngariu Louisa Ruiha Hakopa).

Francis’ father is a descendant of Philipp Gotthard Müller from Zug, Switzerland, and his Samoan wife Lauiti’iti (Philomena) ‘O Manono Luatutu, from Vava’u, a small island group between Samoa and Tonga. Lauiti’iti was the daughter of Luatutu Manono and Ana Fiame who were Samoan. Philipp Müller owned a Copra production business in Tongatapu, Tonga.


Francis Tipene mentioning his ancestry –

Obituary of Francis’ paternal grandfather, Walter (Wally) Tipene –

Story about Francis’ ancestor, Philipp Gotthard Müller –


interested in whakapapa (on hiatus)

2 Responses

  1. Akwaba says:

    Is it common for Maori people in NZ to be mixed with European ?

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