Detective Scott Beard thanks public and 'extremely dignified' family of Grace Millane at Auckland vigil

The detective in charge of the Grace Millane case has addressed the crowd at an Auckland vigil this evening, thanking her family and the public for the support they showed the police while the tragic events unfolded.

Hundreds turned out for two vigils in Auckland's CBD tonight - one at St Patrick's Cathedral Square and the second at Federal St by the Sky Tower.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard took to the stage at the Federal St vigil where he made a speech to a hushed crowd.

"I would like to thank the Millane family for the faith and trust put in us, they have been extremely dignified in a situation that is unthinkable for most of us.

"To those members of the public who have sent messages of support and gratitude they are much appreciated by the investigation team," Detective Beard said.

He ended the address with a call to unity for the people of New Zealand.

"Let us join together and not fall apart," he said.

Ten vigils are being held in nine cities across the country, from Auckland to Dunedin.

Anna Campbell, White Ribbon vigil leader, said this was a chance for New Zealanders to take a stand against violence.

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Anna Campbell, White Ribbon vigil leader, told a vigil in Auckland the Millane’s family pain is this country’s shame. Source: 1 NEWS

"We all know that Grace’s story didn’t end how it should have because we let her down," she told the crowd at St Patrick's Cathedral Square.

"To the Millane family, we are so, so sorry for your loss. No one should have to experience the pain that you’re feeling now. As a country, we didn’t do our job to keep your daughter safe.

"Your pain is our country’s shame."

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There have been vigils up and down the country honouring Grace’s life. Source: Seven Sharp