A juror in the Ewen Macdonald case has given TVNZ a rare insight into the experience of a high profile murder trial.
In an interview, the juror talks about the emotional toll of the case, and their impressions of our legal system.
The law does not allow the media to approach jurors, and TVNZ never spoke to them during the course of the trial.
However, the juror approached TVNZ by email on 1 August, after learning details of Macdonald's convictions that had been kept from the jury during the trial.
Ewen Macdonald was last month acquitted of murdering his brother-in-law Scott Guy on the Guy family farm in July 2010.
He is awaiting sentencing on charges of vandalism to property belonging to Scott and Kylee Guy, arson and poaching, all of which the jury was told.
He has also admitted killing calves, emptying a vat of milk, and arson, on farms unconnected to the Guy family. Details of that offending were not revealed to the jury.
In accordance with the law the verdict, evidence and jury's deliberations were not discussed in the interview.
The interview was recorded. We will not identify the juror in any way or broadcast the recording.
The juror said it was their first time on the jury of any trial. After receiving their summons, they looked on the internet to see if any major trials were pending.
When they heard what case they would be sitting on, the juror remembered it from media coverage.
"I've always been fascinated by these sorts of cases, so I was very excited."
The juror said they felt a responsibility in serving on the panel.
"Absolutely. I felt it was very, very important. I felt very, I guess, proud in a sense to be involved with something that is quite historic I suspect."
That sense of responsibility grew as the trial progressed towards a verdict.
"Certainly with the media coverage which seemed to be accelerating as the case went on.
"Certainly the excitement of the day itself, with the likes of yourself, Mark Sainsbury and John Campbell sitting there in the courtroom we knew it was going to be important, we knew it was going to be big."
Despite that, the juror said there were no problems leaving the case behind every night.
"We were so mentally exhausted at the end of each day, we'd taken in so much. I actually slept really well, probably a lot better than usual during that four-week period."
The juror said the trial was well-run and regular breaks helped the jury maintain concentration.
"It was easy. Obviously we were taking on a huge amount of information, but they work it quite well, so you are well-fed and watered."
The juror also said they found it easy to follow the judge's order that they didn't discuss the case with others, or do their own investigating.
During the trial, the jury was required to view photographs of Scott Guy's body.
"It didn't worry me in the slightest. But there were a couple of jurors who became distressed."
Several witnesses were also in tears as they gave evidence at court.
"It was quite emotional. A couple of times I could feel myself choking up. However it all seemed a bit surreal."
The juror said they liked the tradition of the court but the trial seemed "old-fashioned".
"Maybe the whole set-up is not quite right."
In the weeks since the trial, there has been debate in the public domain about an accused's right to silence.
We asked the juror for their thoughts on the general principle of the accused's right to silence, without referring specifically to the Macdonald case.
The juror said: "I think it's probably important the accused has to be tested in court."
Another recent area of debate has been whether all juries should be informed of all a defendant's convictions in a case. The juror agreed with that principle.
"You can't pick or choose. It's either all or nothing...the more information the better."
The juror said juries could be relied on to decide the case on evidence, not prejudice, and the system worked.
"This is probably the best way to do it."
At the end of the trial, the juror was glad it was over.
"Relieved that I could get back to my normal work. However, I think we all sort of sensed that it wasn't all over. It seems like it's going to keep going on and on and on."
Asked if they would do it again, the juror said: "Yep, yep, absolutely.
"It was a great experience, one I'm really pleased to have been
involved with. It's still the talk of the town, so you do feel
pretty important I guess."