The murder of Glenys Stanton near Papakura has shocked her relatives and friends in Northland, where she lived at Matauri Bay and managed a Paihia bar.
Ms Stanton, 47, and Trevor Waite, 51, were found shot dead on a bed in his home on a lifestyle block near Papakura on Sunday.
It is believed the pair met through an outdoor enthusiasts website, police say. Both had an interest in hiking and mountain biking.
The bodies were found by Mr Waite's daughter Kelsey, 18. It is understood she did not recognise Ms Stanton.
Mr Waite, a Vero Insurance manager, has two other teenagers who live with his ex-wife in Papakura.
Ms Stanton has two daughters who are believed to have attended Kerikeri High School.
Their families are being questioned by police.
Ms Stanton formerly managed the Beach House Cafe and Bar in Paihia, where the telephone was not being answered yesterday.
Her maiden name was Glenys Toms and she lived at Matauri Bay, where her late father had owned a house.
A relative, Fay Toms, of Matauri Bay, said she had learned of Glenys' death yesterday.
"It was such a shock," Fay said.
"She was a happy person - she didn't deserve to be murdered."
A friend of Ms Stanton, Mark Hockley, who knew her from Paihia, said that when he saw her earlier this month she was the happiest he had seen her in years. "She looked better and happier than she had in a long time so I don't know if it was a new job or what. I am just in shock at the moment."
Daniel Pinkney, who played music at the Beach House in Paihia, told Radio New Zealand that Ms Stanton would be missed by the community.
"She didn't have a bad bone in her body. She was always happy, always laughing," he said.
Papakura police Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said it was unclear when Ms Stanton and Mr Waite had been killed. Mr Waite's last known contact with anyone was on Friday night.
Mr Lynch would not be drawn on the type of firearm used to kill the couple. Police believe the killer was known to one, or both, of those slain.
A large team of police are searching for the weapon and whoever used it to commit the murders.
"I don't believe this was a random crime," Mr Lynch said.
"There are indications at the scene that the offender was known to one or both of the victims, but at this stage there is no firm suspect - we are keeping an open mind."