“Auckland Police carried out the most thorough investigation”
Auckland, December 13, 2018
Grace Millane, a 22-year-old British woman was murdered in Auckland about ten days ago.
Her body was found in bushland in the Waitakere Ranges on Sunday, December 9, 2018, after she went missing on the eve of her 22nd Birthday.
Thousands of New Zealanders gathered at vigils around the country on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 night to remember Grace Millane.
Nelson Kaumatua, Archdeacon Andy Joseph paid special tribute to Grace’s father, David Millane, who was seen in the huge crowd at the Auckland vigil last night. Mr Millane has on behalf of the family thanked New Zealand for its outpouring of love, numerous messages, tributes and compassion. Mr Joseph’s closing prayer acknowledged him, and all fathers with daughters. Mr Millane said he and his brother Martin will leave for the UK this weekend and will take Ms Millane’s body home with them.
PM’s emotional apology
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made an emotional apology to the family.
A 26-year-old man charged with her murder appeared in the Auckland District Court on Monday, December 10, 2018.
Ms Ardern said she could not imagine the grief that her family would be going through.
As she spoke to media at her weekly post-cabinet news conference on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Ms Ardern became visibly upset as she said sorry to Ms Millane’s family.
“From the Kiwis I have spoken to there is this overwhelming sense of shame that this has happened in our country, a place that prides itself on its hospitality, on its manaakitanga, especially to those who are visiting our shores.
“So on behalf of New Zealand I want to apologise to Grace’s family: Your daughter should have been safe here and she wasn’t and I’m sorry for that.”
Ms Ardern said she had advised the family through the Police that if there was anything the government could do to assist, it was there to help.
Grace’s father David Millane issued the following Statement on Wednesday, December 12:
Grace went off to travel the world in mid-October and arrived in New Zealand on the 20th November.
By the amount of pictures and messages we received she clearly loved this country, its people and the lifestyle.
After the disappearance of Grace on December 1, 2018 our whole world turned upside down.
I arrived in Auckland on Friday, December 7, 2018, followed by my brother Martin on Saturday, December 8, 2018.
From that very first moment we have been astounded by the level of concern, sympathy and selfless help from every person we have met.
Auckland Police praised
Auckland Police have carried out the most concise, stringent and thorough investigation.
The team, consisting at times of over 24 officers have worked arduous long hours without a day off, little sleep or rest in helping to resolve this heinous crime.
The media and press have been superb in their coverage and reporting of the events surrounding Grace’s tragic final days.
They have not intruded into our life and have been respectful and courteous at all times.
Gill, Michael, Declan and myself would sincerely like to thank everybody involved and express our most profound gratitude.
In this difficult situation where everybody is a true hero it is sometimes difficult to single out certain people.
Expression of gratitude
Despite this, we would like to offer our most sincere thanks and everlasting gratitude to (1) Detective Inspector Scott Beard, who has been a most measured, selfless, human and professional face of Auckland Police. His emotional media statements have made him many fans both in New Zealand and at home in the UK (2) Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Brand, the hidden driving force of the investigation and a true police professional.
We all hope that what has happened to Grace will not deter even one person from venturing out into the world and discovering their own OE.
Traditional Maori blessing
Martin and I had the privilege of attending the traditional Maori blessing of the site which was a lovely and peaceful experience.
Finally, we would like to thank the people of New Zealand for their outpouring of love, numerous messages, tributes and compassion.
Grace was not born here and only managed to stay a few weeks, but you have taken her to your hearts and in some small way she will forever be a Kiwi.
My brother Martin and I leave for the UK this weekend to take her home.