Hundreds of people sang a heartfelt rendition of Amazing Grace in honour of slain British backpacker Grace Millane at a vigil held in her honour tonight.
Kiwi songstress Lizzie Marvelly led the crowd gathered on Auckland's Federal St to remember Millane, who was killed on the weekend of her 22nd birthday, just a day after arriving in Auckland as part of a year-long solo OE.
A 26-year-old man has been charged with murder. He was refused name suppression but cannot be identified as he is appealing that decision.
Marvelly said it was breathtaking having the crowd joining her in paying tribute to the 22-year-old in song.
"It feels devastating in some ways that we have to be remembering her tonight, when she should be in our beautiful country having an amazing adventure," she said.
"It also felt healing in a way and I felt like really came together - when I was singing I could hear people singing with me which was a really special moment."
Those in the crowd with candles extended them into the air as rain, which had held off all night, started to drizzle.
Over a thousand people turned out to the central Auckland street to pay tribute to Millane who went missing in Auckland at the start of the month.
Marvelly said she chose to sing Amazing Grace not only for the reference in the title but because she thinks it's a song which helps people to heal.
"It's a very emotional but uplifting song and I really wanted to be able to share with the audience a song that would give a chance to grieve but leave us uplifted," she said.
"I couldn't see the end of the crowd there was so many people there and seeing people from all walks of life, it was really heartening.
"We've had a lot to be ashamed about in the last week but I was proud to see so many Kiwis out there remembering Grace."
A spokesperson for the Lucie Blackman Trust told the crowd he'd seen hundreds of cases like this but nothing like the outpouring of support Kiwis had shown.
The crowd then fell silent as Mark Longley, father of murdered Kiwi Emily Longley, addressed them, calling for a change in the country's culture towards women.
He called for those who said they were not part of the problem to "be a part of the solution".
Raindrops started to fall as Longley talked about seeing his daughter and trying to wake her up after she was murdered.
Many of those in the crowd wiped tears from their faces as the light rain continued.