The sole survivor of the Ross Bremner killings — his father Keith — is set to return to his family home to live for the first time in two years.
In October 2016, Ross Bremner killed his mother, 60-year-old Clare, and badly injured his father at their Ōtorohanga family home, and then killed Maurice O'Donnell, 72, and his wife Moana Tuwhangai, 82, at their home near Kawhia.
His body was found alongside those of O'Donnell and Tuwhangai.
Keith Bremner suffered a broken jaw and cuts to his throat and chest during his schizophrenic son's offending. As he lay unconscious waiting for first responders to arrive he had a stroke and was paralysed down one side.
He has been recuperating at the Laura Fergusson Rehabilitation centre in Hamilton and the 67-year-old's brother, Jim Bremner, confirmed he was finally nearing release.
"I visited Keith two weeks ago and he says he will be home before Christmas," he said.
Late last year Bremner was able to spend several hours at the family home, accompanied by his eldest daughter, Loren, and two healthcare workers.
Dennis Kaumoana, the Bremners' next-door neighbour, told the Herald on Sunday the widower was due home "any day now" but the family was yet to find a professional caregiver.
Kaumoana, a security guard, said all the building contractors had left and all the housing modifications to make it viable for Bremner to live in was complete — the four-bedroom house was "looking good".
"It's taken about nine to 10 months to build," he said.
"One of the contractors told me it cost about $20,000 to install the lift.
"They've installed the lifts in, from underneath the house to the lounge There is another lift at the back of the section to drop him down onto the deck at the back of the house.
"They've widened the doors for Keith's wheelchair and the bathroom has been done up and they've put in a new shower — so it's all finished now."
Kaumoana was more concerned about Bremner constantly being reminded of the brutal slaying of his wife Clare by their son.
Jim Bremner said his sibling was improving daily at the Laura Fergusson Rehabilitation centre.
But he feared that moving back to the family home might trigger "traumatic" memories for his brother.
"I mean, would you want to?" he said.
"Then again, you wouldn't want to be sitting in a rehab clinic too long."
Bremner can talk but he can't walk due the injuries he suffered.
"He is in good spirits and has learnt to transfer himself from his wheelchair to his bed but that's about it," said Jim.
He said the past two years had been "hell" for his family and every Christmas is a sombre reminder of that.
"We're not looking forward to Christmas, our son Robert died on Boxing Bay last year. There was something wrong with his mitral valve. He was 35 and a vibrant sort of a rooster.
"We've had one of those two years I suppose where we've lost so many family members — Clare, Ross, my sister and now my son — that's not much to celebrate."