The great-grandparents of 2-year-old Nevaeh Ager, who was killed by her father, say the "what-if's" will continue to haunt them.
Aaron George Izett, 38, was found guilty by a jury in the High Court at Rotorua on Thursday of murdering his 2-year-old daughter Nevaeh Jahkaya Whatukura Ager.
Nevaeh's body was found by police on the tidal flats at Little Waihi on March 21 last year,
weighed down by two large rocks and she had drowned, the court heard.
A pathologist said there could have been as many as 70 to 80 blows to her little body.
The Crown said Izett's "meth rage" led to him to kill Nevaeh and assault three other people between March 20 and 21, 2019.
Izett was also found guilty of assaulting Nevaeh's step-great-grandfather John Sturgess on March 20 last year and biting a police officer on the arm during his arrest.
The jury rejected Izett's bid to be found not guilty by reason of insanity at the time.
Sturgess, 78, said he and his wife Nicky, were relieved at the jury's verdict, as they could not have faced another trial.
"We have had to wait a long time for justice. But no matter what the verdict was, it will never bring back Nevaeh, who was a very much loved great-grand-daughter.
"Never a day goes by that we don't think about the what-ifs? It's the what-ifs that will continue to haunt us. Why didn't we just grab Nevaeh and take her away with us that day?
"We beat ourselves up about that constantly."
The day before Nevaeh's body was found by the police, the Sturgesses visited the Tio Pl property to deliver some items for the new baby.
Alyson Ager, who gave birth to her second child on March 18, was in Tauranga Hospital.
The Sturgesses asked to take Nevaeh to visit her mother but Izett refused, telling the couple to 'f***k off" and punching John Sturgess in the face and arm.
The couple called police but were told they could not take Nevaeh unless they were her legal guardians or had her mother's permission.
Sturgess said the murder conviction had not reduced his hate for Izett.
"Nevaeh was a gorgeous loving little girl and she was beautiful inside and out ... Why would anyone even want to harm her, we still struggle to understand it."
Sturgess said he and his wife have a constant reminder of Nevaeh every day, a picture of her in their house surrounded by mementos and flowers.
"Life will never be the same without her in our lives," he said.