Not much gets to retired Rotorua coroner Wallace Bain, but when he saw his newborn twin grandsons sleeping side-by-side in pepi pods, he broke down crying.
After 28 years of dealing with death - and in some of the most heartbreaking of circumstances - Bain has learned to keep his emotions in check.
One trick to keep himself together when delivering particularly sad findings was to raise his voice in the tricky parts.
"You'd be surprised how that helps get you through it."
But nothing could stop his tears from flowing when he laid eyes on his grandsons in September 2019.
That's because they were sleeping in little boxes, called pepi pods, which came about in New Zealand because of some work he had done to reduce Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI).
Bain's successful career, including being the Bay of Plenty coroner based in Rotorua since 2007, has been outlined in his new book, A Coroner Speaks For The Dead To Protect The Living. The book will be officially launched at a special function for invited guests on Thursday.
Bain's book has been his project since retiring from his role at the beginning of last year. The book sets out his career into chapters that look at the role of coroners, their workloads, history and the some of the big cases he dealt with.
These include the high-profile deaths of child abuse victims Nia Glassie and Moko Rangitoheriri, as well as other noteworthy topics such driver fatigue, texting and driving, hunting accidents, forestry accidents and cyberbullying.
Bain and some of his coroner colleagues shone a spotlight on the co-sleeping issue, particularly among Māori families, which resulted in more awareness, more media coverage and more funding for education and things such as pepi pods.
He said he felt proud seeing his twin grandsons in the pepi pods, knowing the introduction of the pods had helped contribute to a massive reduction in SUDI in the past 10 years — the rates of which had reduced from more than 50 to just five a year.
"Two fingers on the chest of a baby for 20 minutes will kill it. Staggering. So to get that result to just five deaths a year is a good win. There are 50 or so babies walking around now as children thanks to that."
When he saw his twin grandsons, those thoughts weren't far from his mind.
"That was one of the most moving moments ... They were in hospital for quite a while. I drove to Hobsonville Point to see them and walked in the lounge and here they were lying side by side in a pepi pod given to them by the hospital. I just broke down and cried."
Bain said the idea of the book was to document his career and educate others what coroners did.
"I'm proud of it now and I'm happy to have done what I've done. As result of the book, I just hope people will fully understand what a coroner does and through their powers what they can achieve, which is enormous.
"Now I'm going to relax in retirement."
The 71-year-old said he will do that by going fishing on his beloved Lake Tarawera with his friend down the road, Geoff Thomas, and enjoying their home with wife Juliet.
Bain's book will be available in book stores from Friday for $39.95.
Coroner Wallace Bain - the facts
* Born 1950 and raised in Hamilton
* Married to Juliet with two children, Lyndon and Catherine
* Qualifications include Doctor of Philosophy, Bachelor of Laws 1st Class, Diploma in
* Pharmacy, Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of NZ, Registered Pharmacist in NZ,
* Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Associate of Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of NZ and Associate of the American Society of Law Medicine and Ethics
* Coroner for Taupō and King Country from 1992
* Regional coroner based in Rotorua from 2007
* Hamilton Boys' High School Hall of Fame 2014
* Rotorua Daily Post Person of the Year 2015