A man jailed for killing seven people, including three of his own children, in one of the country's worst crimes has spoken for the first time about his actions.
In a letter sent last week to TVNZ, Raymond Ratima wrote of his regret over the murders and hoped the rest of his family could heal.
"Regretfully I took the lives of seven whanau members. Members of my whanau continue today to suffer mentally, emotionally and physically for their loved ones," he wrote. "I have the utmost aroha, compassion, empathy and respect for them all."
Ratima was sentenced to life in prison in 1992 after he stabbed and bludgeoned his three sons Piripi, Barney and Stacey to death in their grandparents' Masterton home.
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He also bashed and stabbed his brother-in-law Philip Ferguson, his heavily pregnant sister-in-law Nicola Ferguson, her partner Bevan Tepu and their son Stephen.
Ratima piled the bodies of the dead children on his wife Toni's bed and placed a bible on top of them. He piled his adult victims on top of each other in another bedroom, and waited for his wife to return home with her mother and father.
When they got home Ratima attacked them, but Mrs Ratima escaped and called for help.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment on seven charges of murder, 10 years' imprisonment for killing an unborn child and seven years' imprisonment for attempted murder.
Ratima has never spoken publicly about his crimes, but wrote to One News after a journalist sought permission to attend his upcoming parole hearing. He denied the request.