Thirty years after David Gray gunned down 13 people at the small seaside settlement of Aramoana, survivors and victims' families will meet near the sad scene to pay tribute - and remember.
After an altercation with his neighbour Gray, 33, armed himself with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle and opened fire.
He murdered 13 men, women and children and wounded two others - little girls who were both shot in the stomach but survived.
One of the victims was a local police sergeant who was one of the first officers at the scene and tried to stop the killer.
In episode 12 of NZME podcast A Moment In Crime, senior journalist Anna Leask looks into Gray's murderous rampage, speaking to survivors, witnesses and others who were there on the day and in the aftermath of the terrifying siege.
On November 13 victims, survivors, families and the community will gather together at the small settlement on the Otago Coast and remember those killed that awful day.
Garry Holden, 38
Jasmine Holden, 11
Rewa Bryson, 11
Chris Cole, 62
Vic Crimp, 71
Jim Dickson, 45
Tim Jamieson, 69
Ross Percy, 42
Vanessa Percy, 26
Aleki Tali, 41
Dion Percy, 6
Leo Wilson, 6
Sergeant Stu Guthrie, 41
Until the Christchurch terror attack in 2019, Aramoana was New Zealand's worst mass killing.
Gray was also killed, by police, after a 23-hour siege and dramatic firefight.
Ordinarily, Gray was a loner, a recluse, a man who had little and said little.
But on that day he became a monster when he snapped during an altercation, armed himself with a high-powered rifle and started shooting at his neighbours, his friends.
Journalists who covered the massacre also spoke about their experience ahead of the 30-year anniversary - including Tim Donoghue, who was reporting for the Herald at the time.
When Donoghue heard about the unfolding incident he got on the first flight to Dunedin and watched the hunt for Gray from a hill above Aramoana.
Donoghue was then the first journalist to go into the scene alongside then Police Minister John Banks and Commissioner John Jamieson.
"We drove in and parked up right beside the Percy ute. I could see Aleki Tali and Dion and Leo - two young boys, great mates, and they were lying down beside the ute," he said.
"Ross Percy and Vanessa … their bodies were nearby as well … and I could see Garry Holden up by his burnt house.
"I think my most enduring memory of that whole thing was the sight of the bodies of the young boys, Dion and Leo."
Donoghue didn't process Aramoana until he got home. Like any reporter at the frontline of an incident he was too busy writing, filing, dealing with his newsroom to let anything sink in.
"I came back and for a couple of weeks my family just left me alone really," he explained.
"Those two kids' bodies … they were indelibly ingrained upon my brain … it just seems so sort of pointless, you know, in such a wonderful, beautiful environment for that to happen."
New Zealand Press Association reporter Paul Bensemann was also there on the hill above the settlement watching history.
"There wasn't that much happening when I first got there - but David Gray was still on the loose," he recalled.
"As the day went on, things heated up gradually … I watched some of it through the long lens of a photographer, we could see bodies lying around in the streets … that emphasised the seriousness of this story.
"And it wasn't until the evening when they got to the house that he was actually in - and that was just below us. And there was all an almighty firefight, lots of shots."
Bensemann was using a cellphone - "a big box thing" - for the first time to file his copy. That meant he was busy, not absorbing what he was seeing, just reporting it.
"That just took my mind off what was what was really going on down there … it wasn't until afterwards when I got back home and my young daughter said something like 'did you see the children getting shot?' And I said no, no, no. And I hugged my daughter and cried.
"It wasn't until afterwards that I realised what I had been though … As one of my headlines said, it was the day New Zealand lost its innocence - that was the first of those deaths by police, the first mass shooting … even at the time we realised this was something new … big.
"And it was shocking that it was happening in such a beautiful place, and so sad."
Bensemann went on to write an in-depth book on the massacre.
A second book was published by Bill O'Brien, and later used as a blueprint for the movie "Out of the Blue", which told the story of Gray and the murders.
O'Brien was a senior sergeant at the time and was tasked with handling the flurry of media inquiries.
"I had a very busy role but nothing compared to those on the front line. I remain amazed at how those members coped with such a dangerous and horrific incident," he said.
"It seemed quite an incredible incident but became very real when the radio call came in that Sergeant Stu Guthrie had been shot dead. A hugely sobering moment.
"On the second day, while Gray was still on the loose I gave a media briefing where I read out the names of the deceased we knew of at that time.
"When I read the names of children and their ages of 6, the journalists present gasped and started sobbing. It took some self-control to go on reading the names without losing it myself."
A Moment In Crime is written, hosted and produced by Leask with help from the NZME sound and vision team.
Leask has been covering crime and justice for the Herald for more than a decade and has reported on most of the major incidents and events over that time.
"Each month I'll take you inside some of our most infamous incidents, notorious offenders and behind the scenes of high-profile trials and events to show you what's really happening in your backyard," she said.
"Heroes and villains battle for justice to be done, and it seems no matter how horrifying the story, we always want to know more.
"If you want to know more about the cases that have shocked and shaped our nation - from murders and massacres to violent villains and the utterly unbelievable - join me for A Moment In Crime."
In our first episode, we looked back at the Christchurch terror attack - what unfolded on March 15 and how it changed New Zealand.
The podcast has also delved into the cold case murder of Kayo Matsuzawa, the murder of Feilding farmer Scott Guy, the cold case of schoolgirl Alicia O'Reilly, double killer Jason Somerville - infamous for the Christchurch House of Horrors, and the Lundy and Crewe family murders.
In 2017, Leask wrote and hosted Chasing Ghosts - a six-part podcast series on the Amber-Lee Cruickshank case.
The South Island toddler disappeared almost 27 years ago from a small town on the shore of Lake Wakatipu.
Despite exhaustive and repeated searches, there has never been any sign of the little girl.
To mark the 25th anniversary of Amber-Lee's disappearance, Leask investigated the famous cold case in a bid to generate some answers for the toddler's family.
It was the Herald's first true-crime podcast.
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