Of Samoan descent, Tapuaī has been The Fono’s Chair since 2011. A former lecturer at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education lecturing in Education sociology, preparing students to become teachers, Tapuaī now works with professional rugby athletes creating other career pathways for professional rugby players in the New Zealand super rugby competition. He is involved with mentoring young Pasifika adults in his current position as the relationship manager with New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA) which includes adult education, equality and equity and understanding financial literacy. With a background as a professional rugby player in the late 1990’s Tapuaī works with sports agencies such as high Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) as a consultant on Pasifika sports athletes and career pathways.
Tapuaī is also involved in a number of Educational boards including a total immersion Samoan language nest, Leataata O Tupulaga O le Pasifika preschool in West Harbour/Massey where he is currently a board member, and from 2012 – 2018 as a Board of Trustees Member for Gladstone Primary School in Mount Albert. Tapuaī has also been the NZ Chairperson of the Professional Boxing Commission (2016-2018), Massey High School Board of Trustees Member (2016), and the University of Auckland – Faculty of Auckland Equity Committee – Academic staff rep (2012-2018). Currently he is a Director at the Oceania Career Academy (OCA) since 2015, Vice Chairman of Manu Samoa Old Boys Association (2015-present), Board member at the Moana Pasifika Rugby Steering Committee (2020-present) and Chairperson of Leataata o Tupulaga O le Lumana’l o Samoa Trust (2002-present).
He is currently enrolled in PhD studies looking at Male Pasifika undergraduates in University studies and tracking why they are pursuing a qualification.
Tapuaī holds the following qualifications – Diploma in Teaching (Auckland College of Education), Bachelor of Education (Massey University), Post Graduate Diploma (University of Auckland), Masters of Education (1st Class honors) and Harvard Business School Governance for non-profit excellence (certificate).