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Ed Sheeran

Loss felt of community champion Vapi Kupenga

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There’s tears and tributes today for former Radio Waatea talk host Vapnierka (Vapi) Kupenga, who died yesterday.

A teacher, actor, translator, social worker, university lecturer and serial political candidate, Auntie Vapi was prepared to tackle a wide range of guests and issues on her Te Puna Korero show.

Hailing from Hiruharama Marae on the East Coast, the native speaker was fiercely loyal to her tribe, and until recently chaired Ngati Porou ki Tamaki Taura Here.

She also maintained an interest in the arts, playing a cameo role as a kuia in the 2001 film The Crooked Earth.

Fellow broadcaster Aroha Hathaway described her as vivacious, ambitious, prophetic and inspiring.

Copyright © 2013, UMA Broadcasting Ltd

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