It's a big day tomorrow for Pike River families who, three years after the disaster, are finally getting what they have been fighting for.
The first stages of re-entry into the mine are already underway and the families hope some of them might finally get back what remains of their loved ones who went into the mine on that fateful day.
Family spokesperson Bernie Monk and Neville Rockhouse share two common bonds. They both own small rural pubs on the South Island's West Coast and both lost their sons in the Pike River mine disaster three years ago.
Tomorrow Solid Energy will begin its first real attempts to get into the start of the mine.
"We've had to knock on a lot of doors to make it happen, so it's not really about excitement," says Mr Monk. "It's about something that should have been done."
The families want to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in the blast. The complicated weather dependent process to enter the mine will take months.
"They deserve one attempt at being brought home, and that to many of the families is going to help with the final closure," says Mr Rockhouse.
The first step is to permanently plug the ventilation shaft using 700 cubic metres of concrete, then drill new boreholes and check the area with a camera. After that the tunnel will be plugged with sealant in front of the rockfall; that's about 2.3km in.
Nitrogen will keep dangerous methane away from the tunnel. Finally, it will be ventilated with fresh air and Mines Rescue will be sent in.
But they will not be going into the main mine, only down the mine entrance where families hope some of the men may have been.
"We're being realistic," says Mr Monk. "Some of us may never get anyone back."
Pike families hope perhaps down the track the Government or someone else may fund entry into the greater mine. But that could be years away. But these families are already used to long waits.