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Man killed in Auckland bus station stabbing named; 16yo pleads not guilty to murder

Author
Craig Kapitan,
Publish Date
Wed, 4 Oct 2023, 10:54AM

Man killed in Auckland bus station stabbing named; 16yo pleads not guilty to murder

Author
Craig Kapitan,
Publish Date
Wed, 4 Oct 2023, 10:54AM

A man who was stabbed to death at an Albany bus station in a broad daylight attack last month can now be identified as Epapara Poutapu, 24. 

Interim name suppression lapsed today for the stabbing victim as a 16-year-old appeared in the High Court at Auckland for the first time to plead not guilty to murder. 

The teen, whose interim name suppression continues, travelled from a youth justice facility to stand in the dock for the brief hearing. He did not speak, and defence lawyer Barbara Hunt entered the not guilty plea on his behalf. 

Justice Mark Woolford set a trial date for November next year. 

Poutapu died from his injuries after he was rushed to Auckland Hospital in critical condition on September 18. 

The attack, at 12.50pm on a Monday, happened in front of stunned commuters. The Albany Park and Ride bus shelter was closed for more than a day as forensic investigators examined blood smears that could be seen on a glass shelter panel and on a nearby pedestrian crossing. 

Poutapu was a 501 deportee who had been expelled from Australia on bad character grounds last year after having moved there with his family when he was just 1 year old, his father previously told Stuff. 

Epapara Joseph Jordan Poutapu was stabbed to death at the Albany Bus Station on September 18.Epapara Joseph Jordan Poutapu was stabbed to death at the Albany Bus Station on September 18. 

“He should never have been in New Zealand,” the father said, describing his son as having struggled with mental health. “He would have been better here with us.” 

Poutapu was described as the second eldest in a family of 13 in a GoFundMe post seeking to raise money for his family to travel to New Zealand after the tragedy. 

“His whānau are situated in Brisbane, Australia, and are all mourning the loss of their son, brother, uncle and nephew who are unable to be with him,” a family member wrote. 

A name suppression hearing for the 16-year-old has been scheduled for next month. 

Craig Kapitan is an Auckland-based journalist covering courts and justice. He joined the Herald in 2021 and has reported on courts since 2002 in three newsrooms in the US and New Zealand. 

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