Families of the Pike River miners have met at the memorial in Atarau, ahead of driving up to the mine at 3.44 – the exact time 10 years ago the mine exploded.
Many came holding fresh flowers to be laid around the memorial beside the names of their loved ones.
Stephen Rose, who lost his stepson, 31-year-old Stu Mudge, said it did not feel like 10 years had passed.
"It doesn't feel like 10 years, it feels like three or four months ago on a day like this... we've gone such a long way in 10 years but we feel like we have only just begun," he said.
"I was thinking this morning that seven years ago we were poised to do what is being done now... I think we've really only just begun, there are so many answers to come from inside the mine."
"We've got hints of what to come."
Rose said he was just finishing up selling firewood to a customer on November 19, 2010 when news of the explosion reached him and his partner, Carol Rose.
Thinking it was supposed to be a "modern mine" he thought there would soon be answers as to what happened.
Ten years later he was still waiting – and the fight for answers had taken its toll.
"At times it's been hard," he said.
"About four years ago I had severe Post Traumatic Stress disorder, I just crashed and burnt... you just kind of bury it, sooner or later it squeezes out."
When you think about the time that has gone since my son has killed, it has flown by, but if I think about just the time it has taken to get where they are up the drift and how little we've achieved... man it's been a long 10 years.
Smiling, Carol Rose remembered her son as a "ratbag from the day he was born."
"He had a mind of his own...he was into everything."
But at 31 years old he had "really turned a corner", and had found a career.
"That's what really sad we never really got to see his full potential... the boys were snuffed out too early."
During the last conversation with his mum, Stu handed a USB stick with songs he had downloaded off his computer.
He then caught the boss to go up the mine – two days later he was gone.
She still has this "very special flash drive with Stu's music for Mum."
Like most family members at the memorial spoken to by the Herald, Rose still wanted answers as to why the mine exploded – and who was responsible.
"Really what we want is we want the truth... we know the truth is there."
She still wanted an explanation from the mine managers – including former Pike River Coal chief executive, Peter Whittall, to front and explain exactly what happened.
"We need somebody to be accountable for that... we're hopeful the police can get a case together and bring charges."
Jo Hall lost her son, Daniel Herk, in the disaster.
Speaking to the Herald at the Atarau memorial, near Pike River mine, she described her son as a "good man" who would be "sorely missed".
"Dan was a very solid guy; he was a lot of fun. He would stick up for you... he would put his whole heart into it."
"We had a perfect little life going, one we could manage and one in which we had a lot of fun - this has changed all of that."
Aside from the memorial events at the Atarau memorial and at the mine itself today, Hall said she and her family would spend some time at home "and just remember Dan".
Jo had also lost other sons, and each had a cabinet with their own ashes in it – except Daniel's, as his remains laid somewhere deep inside Pike River mine.
"He was a funny, honest, straight forward, working, and providing man," she said.
"He has been sorely missed."