The reasons behind an Otaki Beach man stabbing his two children to death before killing himself in February this year will probably always remain a mystery, a coroner says.
A family friend who visited the Otaki Beach home of Bronson O'Carroll, 30, on the evening of February 2, told a coroner's inquest last month how he found the floors covered in blood and Mr O'Carroll lying in a blood-soaked T-shirt.
His two children, TeHau TeHoro O'Carroll, 10, and two-year-old Ngamata O'Carroll, who were already dead, were lying under blankets nearby. They died of stab wounds to their heart and lungs.
In a finding into the deaths issued today, Levin Coroner Phillip Comber said Mr O'Carroll became distressed and hysterical and stabbed his two children before turning the knife on himself on February 2.
He said O'Carroll separated from his wife Koringo Matangaroa in January, but the separation was amicable and arrangements regarding the children, whom he continued to see, had been "sensible".
Ms Matangaroa told the inquest O'Carroll was prone to occasional rage while playing playstation games, but always quickly calmed down and had never directed violence towards herself or the pair's children.
He was a good father who rarely smacked their children. He had told her he "hated" the idea of suicide and the people who did it, she said.
Other family members said they had not seen him acting violently.
Mr Comber said the reasons why O'Carroll had snapped remained unclear.
"What happened is now clear. Why it happened is obscure and will forever remain so," he said.
A pathologist's examination had found O'Carroll had smoked cannabis between 30 minutes and four and a half hours before the murder-suicide.
But Ms Matangaroa said her husband usually smoked cannabis about three times a day.
The post-mortem examination found a "tiny" amount of alcohol in his blood, but other than cannabis, no other drugs.
In relation to a complaint from Mr O'Carroll's father that police had not allowed family members to remove the bodies or stay with them overnight at the scene, Mr Comber said police had acted correctly.
At the time they could not rule out that someone else was involved in the homicide and had to treat the address as a crime scene to preserve evidence.
However he directed police to examine their practise to see whether they could cover the faces of such bodies.
A tent was placed over Mr O'Carroll's body which was outside, but family members were upset that flies and other insects had entered his nostrils.