October 30, 2013
Kuia with class on final trip home
A jazz musician in a bunch of classical players.
That’s how independent MP Brendan Horan describes former Waatea broadcaster Vapi Kupenga, who died yesterday in Wellington.
The Ngati Porou kuia is being taken back to her home marae at Hiruharama on the East Coast, where the funeral service is expected to be on Saturday.
As well as being a teacher, translator, social worker and community organiser, Mrs Kupenga also ran in local and national elections for a range of minor parties.
Mr Horan says he met her at a political event, and they remained friends.
"Vapi was just the most amazing woman and friend. She was like a jazz musician in a bunch of classical players. She was funky. She was spirited and she could move through any world. Class, she just oozed class and originality," he says.
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