A memorial will be held today for the 29 miners killed in the Pike River Coal disaster.
Estimates on the number of people expected to attend the service held at the Omato Racecourse, which looks out over the Paparoa Range where the mine is located, have ranged from 7 000 to 20 000.
The 29 miners will be individually honoured, by a table for each man decorated with a photograph, a miners hat and lamp, as well as personal mementoes from the families.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, who labelled the tragedy “the west coast’s darkest hour” says the event, to start at 2pm New Zealand time, is expected to last around two hours.
Australia will be represented at the service by Cabinet Minister Martin Ferguson.