Thirty-one years after the brutal rape and murder of British backpacker Monica Cantwell a small group of people scaled Mauao and pledged to stand against violence on women as part of White Ribbon Day.
Cantwell was killed at the top of Mauao on November 20, 1989. These days, a large rock adorned with a plaque honours her memory just metres from where her body was found.
This morning, the rock was shrouded in grey mist as people gathered to remember Cantwell and look forward to better times.
Organiser Buddy Mikaere said the wet weather prevented many people from attending but also created an eerie calm for those people who did, such as acting mayor Tina Salisbury and Tauranga Women's Refuge family resilience kaumahi (worker) Hori Ahomiro.
"Being up there at that particular spot was quite poignant," Mikaere said.
"With the mist all around, it was quite a sombre setting but a celebration as well, marking this day and people having good and sound and sensible things to say.
"It was just lovely. We had people there who read poetry, everyone sang really well. We will try to do it again next year, of course, making it an annual event."
White Ribbon Day, November 25, is the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show that they do not condone violence towards women. It began in Canada in 1991 and was adopted by the United Nations, being introduced to New Zealand in 2004.
Mikaere said the event, marking the day, acknowledged there were issues in society "but this is something we can do, as a community, without too much effort".
In New Zealand, an average of 24 adults and nine children a year are killed in family violence. At least another 3500 convictions a year are recorded against men for assaults on women and one in five women will experience sexual assault at some point in their lives.
Mikaere has long supported Tauranga Women's Refuge and held the first White Ribbon Day Mauao service last year to mark the 30th anniversary of Cantwell's death.
Salisbury said the White Ribbon campaign was asking people to challenge the unspoken rules; the outdated stereotypes that were handed down to boys and men by their role models.
"The things we unwittingly teach our kids about 'how to be a man' which can create hugely negative impacts."
Salisbury said she had experienced violence and learned early on how indiscriminate violence could be.
"It's destructive forces reach into all parts of our society and tear at its foundations. The impacts are far-reaching and can be long-lasting without help.
"We can choose to stop the cycle, stand up and speak out to empower the generations that follow us."
Ahomiro, who is also a Bay of Plenty District Health Board member, said the service had felt "eerie" in the mist and the rain also lifted during the service, returning after it was over.
"For us, as Māori, there's a wairua in that space," he said.
Ahomiro spoke of the importance to acknowledge the need to look after women and children but also the men involved and ensure they were educated about violence.
Help is at hand
Tauranga Women's Refuge: 0800 86 733843
Shakti Women's Refuge: 0800 742 584
Shine: 0508 744 633
Bay of Plenty Sexual Assault Services: 0800 227 233
Victim Support: 0800 842 846
Mental Health Crisis Team: 0800 800 508
Police: 111 or for non-emergencies 105