With tears in his eyes and a breaking voice, the hunter who shot dead Rosemary Ives made his first public statement last night.
"Idiot. Killer. Stupid. Loser. Call me what you like because I have called myself these things a million times and worse," Andrew Mears, 25, said.
Mears shot 25-year-old Ms Ives dead while she was brushing her teeth at a Turangi camp ground. Mears mistook a light on her head for the eyes of a deer.
Speaking directly into the camera and occasionally stopping to choke back tears, Mears last night read his statement on the Sunday programme.
"I know only too well how a lapse in judgment can totally destroy the lives of two families.
"I thought I was a careful and responsible hunter ... but one night I fell short of those standards required, fell short of the standards I'd set myself. It only takes once.
"That night I made a terrible mistake that robbed Rosemary Ives of her life."
Mears has admitted one charge of manslaughter.
He said he is deeply regretful of the "terrible suffering" he has caused Ms Ives' partner, family and friends. "Although I have never had the privilege of meeting Rosemary, her name will be with me for the rest of my life."
It is too easy to become careless while hunting with all the adrenaline and excitement, Mears warned.
"I hope that my case will educate people on the importance of gun safety ... my life will never be the same.
"I do not want anyone to go through what I am going through, what my wife and family are going through. Especially, I do not want another family to suffer like Rosemary Ives' partner, family and friends."
He said he is afraid someone else will make the same mistake he did.
"Please listen to the gun safety message of this programme and do not end up like me, Andrew Mears."
After he read those final words his wife, Brooke, walked over and hugged him as he sobbed violently.By Amelia Wade Email Amelia