The sorrow of two fathers was united at a vigil in central Auckland last night.

As hundreds of mourners descended upon Saint Patrick's Square to pay their respects to Grace Millane, among them was Mark Longley - the father of murder victim Emily Longley.

Longley knows too well the immense heartbreak facing the Millane family, having lived through a similar experience in 2011.

Seven years ago in England, Emily Longley was murdered by her ex-boyfriend Elliot Turner.

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Turner, 20, was found guilty of strangling the 17-year-old in a jealous rage at his parents' home in Bournemouth.

Last night, at the vigil for another young woman who lost her life at the hands of a male counterpart, Mark Longley said Millane's story really resonated with him.

"I sat all day trying to think of what to say but I couldn't find the words," he said.

"I felt for her father who made the long journey over her hoping it was all a misunderstanding and Grace had been found."

A very large crowd gathers in at the candlelit vigil held on Federal Street, Auckland City. Photo / Supplied
A very large crowd gathers in at the candlelit vigil held on Federal Street, Auckland City. Photo / Supplied

Longley said around 105 women had been killed by their partner in the years between his daughters death and Millane's.

"The next victim is out there ... and we're going to get 14 women murdered next year.

"I've heard a lot of men say they're not the problem, but you can be part of the solution," he said.

Longley, a White Ribbon ambassador, was joined by hundreds of New Zealanders who wished to emphasize the message of stopping violence towards women, after the country was left ashamed by the murder of 22-year-old Millane.

At the Auckland vigil, he was joined by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Detective Inspector Scott Beard.

"Tonight our hearts go out to the Millane family. She should have been safe here but she wasn't," Goff said.

The candlelit vigil at St Patricks Square in Auckland city. Photo / Peter Meecham
The candlelit vigil at St Patricks Square in Auckland city. Photo / Peter Meecham

"We need to change our culture. We need to change the way too many men act towards their partners and their children."

While two minutes of silence fell on Auckland mourners, hundreds of people also gathered in Te Ngakau Civic Square in Wellington for a candlelight vigil.

More than 500 also packed into Federal St underneath the Sky Tower in Auckland, while dozens of people gathered at Clive Square in Napier.

Pastor Cameron Jones said Grace's case had resonated with people on many levels.

"You either know someone like that or have been that person at some point. My hope and prayer is that this moment of national solidarity will lead to action," he said.

Millane was murdered on the weekend of her birthday, just a day after she arrived in Auckland as part of a one-year solo OE.

A 26-year-old man has been charged with murder.

Hundreds of people descended on St Patrick's Square in central Auckland yesterday to pay their respects to Grace Millane. Photos / Peter Meecham
Hundreds of people descended on St Patrick's Square in central Auckland yesterday to pay their respects to Grace Millane. Photos / Peter Meecham

Millane's father David earlier said he did not plan to attend the vigils but thanked New Zealanders for their outpouring of love, numerous messages, tributes and compassion in a statement today.

"From that very first moment we have been astounded by the level of concern, sympathy and selfless help from every person we have met," he said.

"Auckland Police have carried out the most concise, stringent and thorough investigation. The team, consisting at times of over 24 officers have worked arduous long hours without a day off, little sleep or rest in helping to resolve this heinous crime.

"Gill, Michael, Declan and myself would sincerely like to thank everybody involved and express our most profound gratitude."

David Millane said he hoped that what happened to his daughter would not deter even one person from venturing out into the world and discovering their own OE.

"Grace was not born here and only managed to stay a few weeks, but you have taken her to your hearts and in some small way she will forever be a Kiwi," he said.