Family and friends of people killed in the Christchurch earthquake left messages at the memorial site last night, the eve of today's six year quake-anniversary.
Two of the messages read "I love you Mummy" and "Mum I wish you were here".
Around 700 relatives of victims have travelled from all around the world attended the private service last night.
1 NEWS reporter Lisa Davies was at last night's service and described the memorial designed by Slovenian architect Grega Vezjak on TVNZ's Breakfast today.
"The feeling of stillness when you're there is really quite something and I think that's what the architect wanted to do for the families, create a place of tranquility, a place where the earthquake and the pure tragedy of it is brought into perspective," she said.
The anniversary service will start at midday today at the memorial in Christchurch's CBD.