New Zealand’s 'dark side' exposed after Grace Millane's death

New Zealand’s "dark side" has been uncovered following the death of Grace Millane, according to the organiser of a vigil for the British backpacker.

Dr Siouxsie Wiles said Ms Millane's death has highlighted that New Zealand isn't as peaceful as some would like to believe. 

"We hide a lot of our really dark side. This week our dark side has come up and I think what we need to show the world is that we're not going to stand for it anymore," she said.

Thousands are expected at a vigil on Wednesday evening at Federal St in Auckland Central to remember Ms Millane, who Dr Wiles said is one of the 13 to 14 women killed in Aotearoa each year.

"For many of us it has brought to light the violence many New Zealanders are living with. In Auckland, but also in other parts of the country, people are going to be holding vigils in honour of Grace, but also in honour of all the women who have been killed in New Zealand this year," said Dr Wiles.

"I'm hoping we just see lots of ordinary New Zealanders coming together to show their solidarity."

The Sky Tower has also changed its Christmas lights to white in honour of Ms Millane.

"We've found a number of people in times like this they tend to look to the Sky Tower to try and show how they are feeling," said Sky City spokesperson Colin Espiner.

"It was a natural decision really in recognition of Grace's tragic death but also the wider campaign against violence towards woman."

The hashtag #herlightourlove continues to top New Zealand's Twitter trending list, with members of the public sending their love to Ms Millane's family on social media and looking for anyway to remember her.

"We've had requests from members of the public either via social media or over the phone and emails just saying look is there anything the Sky Tower can do to show how they are feeling," said Mr Espiner.

Several other vigils are expected to be held across the country for Ms Millane, whose body was found in the Waitakere Ranges on Sunday.

A missing persons investigation was opened last week for Ms Millane after she failed to contact her family for three days, which her father said was very out of character for the 22-year-old.

A scene examination of Scenic Drive, where her body was found, will continue on Tuesday, Auckland City Police Detective Inspector Scott Beard said. 

A 26-year-old man was granted interim name suppression when he appeared in the Auckland District Court on Monday charged with her murder. He was seen on CCTV with Ms Millane on the night of Saturday, December 1 at a CityLife hotel.