The Napier coroner has formally given closure to the death of Hawke's Bay farmer Jack Nicholas.
Mr Nicholas was shot and killed on his remote farm west on Napier in August 2004.
Police charged construction worker Murray Foreman, 49, with murder, 21 months later.
After a trial lasting over seven weeks, a jury in late May found him not guilty.
Following the trial the police said they were not looking for anybody else in relation to the killing.
Coroner Warwick Holmes told the Nicholas family that Thursday's inquest was principally a formality and he appreciated the whole issue has been protracted and horribly unpleasant for them.
But he hoped the inquest would give some conclusion to a matter which he presumed would never be satisfactorily resolved.