From the 17-year-old spending his first day underground to the man who volunteered to work two hours of overtime, meet the 29 men trapped in a West Coast mine.
Police today named all of the men and more details are emerging about them following the explosion at the Pike River coal mine near Greymouth.
To leave a message for them and their loved ones please use the comment field at the foot of this page.
Conrad John Adams, 43, Greymouth.
Adams is listed on Linked In as a deputy at Pike River Coal Mine
Malcolm Campbell, 25, Scotland
Originally from St Andrews, Mr Campbell is due to marry Kiwi fiancee Amanda Shields on December 18. His father, also Malcolm, told Britain's Sunday Express that his son spent two years working in Australian goldmines before coming to the Pike River mine. In a separate interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he expressed frustration over the lack of a rescue attempt. "I know they have to be safe to go in, but what happens if they don't get a safe reading on the gas? Do they just have to leave them in there? Only last month we were watching the Chilean miners being rescued. I remember saying to my wife how awful it would be if it happened to Malcolm, and now it has."
Allan John Dixon, 59, Runanga
Mr Dixon is reported to have made a call to his partner in Runanga just before the blast. He has two sons.
Zen Wodin Drew, 21, Greymouth
His father, Laurie, has expressed frustration with the slow pace of the rescue efforts. "We go and sit there and listen to what they tell us in the office, listen to that, and it's just the same old runaround. Excuses for why things can't be done, instead of trying to find solutions." He said families were also frustrated that they were not allowed onsite to either see their boys come out, or to hear whatever news there was. "We want to be onsite so when they walk out, we'll be there. I just want my boy home."
Christopher Peter Duggan, 31, Greymouth
Chris' brother Dan wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday: "Love u me brother Chris and all the lads underground, we are all trying to stay positive and thanks for all the messages guys." Another brother, John, was flying home from overseas. Friend Robyn McMillian said Chris was a "neat person" and "very bright and bubbly". He had not been working in mining long and had previously worked in forestry, shifting industries because he wanted a change.
Joseph Ray Dunbar, 17, Greymouth
The youngest of the miners, Joseph had just turned 17 the day before the explosion. Friday was his first day in the mine. His mother, Philippa Timms, said on television that he was due to start work at the mine yesterday, but was too excited to wait and asked to go down on Friday instead. "He was beside himself." His boss is Gary Campbell, Ms Timms' partner. "The dangers of it all didn't even enter my mind," she said. "I was just so proud of him." Jospeh was "rebellious, but fun – lots and lots of fun".
Daniel Thomas Herk, 36, Runanga.
His Auckland-based grandfather broke down when asked about Daniel. He said his grandson grew up partly in Auckland, partly in New Plymouth and partly in Greymouth. Daniel's parents live in New Plymouth. "He has worked in the mines quite a long time," his grandfather said.
Richard Bennett Holling, 41, Blackball
The newly married Mr Holling was the first in his family to go down a mine, uncle Mike Holling said. "We are not a mining family at all. A couple of us had him up about it." Richard grew up in Christchurch before heading to Blackball. "He's a pretty laid-back sort of guy, Richard, he just cruised. He didn't care much for money so it's a bit surprising he went down the mine." The family was remaining hopeful. "Always hopeful, but if you are brutally honest it doesn't look good at all, does it." Richard's new wife, Daejaee, left yesterday morning's briefing struggling to contain her emotions. She said she still had hope. "Yes, I think positive." Friends and family have been giving her support, but all she wants now is her husband home safe and sound.
Jacobus (Koos) Albertus Jonker, 47, South Africa
His wife, Christelle, left a moving message on her Facebook profile after the explosion: "Dankie vir al jul gebede en moet asb nie ophou nie." It translates as "Thanks for all your prayers and please do not stop." South Africa's Eyewitness News reported that Mr Jonker's long-time friend, Bertie Buitendach, said Mr Jonker did not enjoy working at the mine. "He told this friend of ours that the mine is unsafe and he does not feel comfortable and safe to work there." Mr Jonker apparently applied for a transfer just a day before the explosion that left him trapped.
William John Joynson, 49, Dunollie (Australia)
Mr Joynson, from Queensland's Fraser Coast, is an experienced underground miner and worked for many years in the Burgowan mines at Howard, near Bundaberg. He has been travelling back and forth from New Zealand to Queensland, where his wife and two children live. His younger sister, Veronica Cook, said yesterday that her brother was "a strong-willed character". "He's a very good father for his boys, a good country kid." She told Australian radio that her family had tried to convince Mr Joynson to quit his career in the mines.
Riki Steve Keane, 28, Greymouth
One of three trapped miners who are members of the Blaketown Rugby Football Club. Along with Blair Sims and Michael Monk, Mr Keane is a member of the club's senior side, where he plays at first-five. President John Pfeifer said Mr Keane had played for the club for about three years.
Terry David Kitchin, 41, Runanga
He had finished his shift before the explosion, but opted to do overtime.
Michael Nolan Hanmer Monk, 23, Greymouth
A hooker for the Blaketown club, he was a squad member of the West Coast Heartland Championship side last year and this season. He attended top rugby school St Bede's College in Christchurch as a boarder before returning home to work in the mine. His older brother Alan was in the same rep team. Michael has a long-term girlfriend and is the son of Bernie Monk, owner of Greymouth's Paroa Hotel, and of West Coast netball rep and coach Cath.
Stuart Mudge, 31, Runanga
Originally from Whangarei, he writes on his Facebook page that he likes fishing and hunting and lists his favourite TV shows as South Park and Outrageous Fortune. Dad Stephen Rose has said his son is "fit, very strong and very healthy" and that working in the mine gives him "an outlet for his energy". He said mining was not about the money for Stuart. He loved the industry, the physical, hard work and the "common bond" with other miners.
Peter O'Neill, 55, Runanga
Member of well-known Runanga mining family. A Runanga and West Coast rugby league identity and lawn bowler. One of his brothers is in the mine rescue team at Pike River. Peter, believed to be a shift boss, was a member of the team involved in the rescue of miners trapped in the flooded Black Reef mine two years ago. He is married.
Kane Barry Nieper, 33, Greymouth
Married to the daughter of a local contractor. Has a young family.
Milton John Osborne, 54, Ngahere
Second-term Grey District councillor who said his first three years on council "have been a mixture of highs and lows – whilst winning some battles, unfortunately you lose others". National's West Coast MP Chris Auchinvole told TV3 Mr Osborne was a "great guy". "He is a very large gentleman, used to give me good advice during the election campaign. If things got a bit rough he would tap me on the shoulder and say, `Chris, mate. You just stay lovely, that's how they want you. I'll do the nasty bits."'
Brendan John Palmer, 27, Cobden
Passed his father, Marty, who was finishing a shift at 8am on Friday, on his way into the tunnel. Marty reported gas problems in the mine after his shift.
Benjamin David Rockhouse, 21, Greymouth
Younger brother of Daniel, who survived the blast. Father Neville is the mine's safety and training manager. Into Texas hold 'em poker, he also likes Bob Dylan music and Outrageous Fortune.
Peter James Rodger, 40, Greymouth
From Perth, Scotland, he was stuck underground for eight hours this year in another mining incident. He lives with Kiwi girlfriend Dianne Morris, who wrote on her Facebook site: "Just got to keep having positive thoughts." A former oil-rig worker, he has worked as a mechanic at the mine since April. Made the switch to mining after suffering a leg injury in the North Sea. He moved to New Zealand two years ago to be near his mother and sister after they emigrated. He was described by a close friend as an "adventurer who loved life". Simon Martin, from Perth, said: "I know he'll be keeping everyone's spirits up. I've been sitting by the phone, I just want to hear he is all right."
Blair David Sims, 28, Greymouth
Married with two young daughters. A regular rugby league centre or wing, he won the West Coast player of the year award for the last two years and was picked this year for the newly established South Island team.
Joshua Adam Ufer, 25, Australia
Works for Valley Longwall Drilling and it is understood he is on secondment to the mine. Due to become a father in May. Friends describe him as a larrikin who works hard and parties harder. "Josh is determined and works hard," one friend said. "He is strong and would punch through the rock to get out of there. If anyone is to survive, it will be him." Parents Joanne and Karl have flown to New Zealand from Australia and China.
Keith Thomas Valli, 62, Winton
Nephew Tony Valli has fingers crossed that his uncle will come out alive, but his hopes are dwindling. Tony, from Perth, Australia, said he had been in regular contact with his family in New Zealand. "Every day we are trying to find out what the go is, it is playing that waiting game that's not much fun. We would rather have an outcome. There is always hope for the best, but I'm a bit worried at the moment – it's not looking that good."
Glen Peter Cruse, 35, Cobden
John Leonard Hale, 45, Ruatapu
David Mark Hoggart, 33, Foxton
Andrew David Hurren, 32, Hokitika
Known as Huck to his friends he is said to love the outdoors and is a keen hunter and fisherman.
Samuel Peter Mackie, 26, Greymouth
Francis Skiddy Marden, 41, Runanga
- © Fairfax NZ News
A referendum on the flag will be held in the next parliamentary term. What do you think?Related story: Flag vote to go ahead