Two years after the "execution style" murder of David Kuka - an innocent man who was the victim of mistaken identity - the senior detectives leading the investigation remain confident of solving the case and holding the killers to account.
Today marks the second anniversary of Kuka's death, a 52-year-old father of four, who was shot close to midnight on the evening of February 11, 2018, at his home in the Tauranga suburb of Gate Pā.
Police describe the murder as "brutal" and his killers as "cowards".
"This was a cowardly act in the middle of the night, when David had no opportunity to defend himself," says Detective Inspector Lew Warner.
"We owe it to David and his family to bring his killers before the courts."
A dedicated team of six police staff, led by Detective Sergeant Paul Barron, remain working on the case full-time.
While no one has been arrested yet, Barron says progress is being made behind the scenes.
He confirmed the police had located two vehicles of interest - a silver Ford Falcon with a distinctive red bonnet, and a second silver sedan - seen driving around Tauranga the day of Kuka's death.
"This was the execution of an unarmed, innocent man. It was brutal," says Barron. "It doesn't get more serious than this and the people who killed David are clearly extremely dangerous. We are committed to solving this and are very confident of getting a result."
Warner said the New Zealand police had a long history of solving difficult murders, often making arrests years, or even decades later.
"An unsolved murder is like a burr under the saddle. It grates away," says Warner.
"We never give up and we'll be knocking on someone's door at some point."
People might not know David Kuka's name, but they'd recognise his face.
Tall and rangy, with long dark hair, the 52-year-old was a well-known figure in downtown Tauranga, where he'd walk down the street with his fist raised to the sky, pointing to heaven.
Wearing a leather vest with a cross on the back, Kuka would spend his weekend nights busking with his guitar and singing about his saviour.
"Dad was a very loud and proud Christian," his daughter Te Kimioranga Kuka told NZME last year.
"He really cared about other people. People would remember him, if they stop to think. We miss him heaps."
Of Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Porou descent, her father was one of 10 siblings raised on Matakana Island, then in Greerton, and was a skilled carver.
Kuka was last seen playing his guitar in his room at a commercial building on Wilrose Place in Greerton, which he also used as a workshop for wood carving.
It was the same property where, just a few weeks before, another man was fatally shot in January 2018.
Lance Wayne Waite, 58, later died from his injuries in Tauranga Hospital and the next day, police arrested Colin Richard Jeffries-Smith and charged him with murder.
The 28-year-old Jeffries-Smith admitted pulling the trigger but was acquitted of murder after a six-week High Court trial last year, with the jury finding him guilty of manslaughter instead.
Waite was the sergeant-at-arms for the Notorious chapter of the Mongrel Mob who had taken, or "taxed", Jeffries-Smith's car following a drug deal gone wrong.
His defence for shooting Waite was he acted in self-defence in a pre-emptive strike in fear of what the gang member would do.
The explanation was accepted by the jury, but rejected by the trial judge, Justice Mark Woolford, who sentenced Jeffries-Smith to 11 years in prison for the manslaughter of Waite and other drug offending.
Black Power member Casino Heta Williams, 51, was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact of Waite's manslaughter and unlawfully possessing a firearm. He was jailed for a total of six years and one month.
While the police have previously confirmed they were investigating links between the two deaths, Warner and Barron have now confirmed "indications are" David Kuka was mistakenly killed in retaliation for Lance Waite's death.
"David wasn't always a saint but he had turned his life around. We believe it's a case of mistaken identity and there are people out there who know what happened," says Warner.
"We'd urge them to do the right thing and tell us what they know."
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Sergeant Paul Barron on 07) 577 4384 or the police non-emergency 105 phone number.
Link between two brutal deaths
• January 3, 2018: Lance Waite shot at Wilrose Place around 11.30am and taken to Tauranga Hospital. Died soon after.
• January 4, 2018: A 26-year-old man arrested and charged with murder. Colin Richard Jeffries-Smith has pleaded not guilty.
• February 11, 2018: David Rawiri Kuka, 52, died around 11.15pm at the same address.
• May 9, 2018: Police reveal Kuka's death was an "execution style" shooting and they believe he was not the intended victim.
• August 22, 2019: Colin Jeffries-Smith jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of manslaughter, not murder, of Lance Waite.