An aunt of Carmen Thomas says the admission by her niece's former boyfriend that he killed her is the news the family has been wanting to hear.
Bradford Callaghan, who is the father of Ms Thomas's son, pleaded guility at a hearing in the High Court in Auckland on Friday to her murder.
He also admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Ms Thomas's dismembered body was found in a crude grave in the Waitakere Ranges last year.
Her aunt Carolyn Lavagne says the plea is brilliant news.
However, she says it is also heartbreaking because Ms Thomas's six-year-old son Jack has not only lost his mother but is losing his father to prison.
Mrs Lavagne says the earlier not guilty plea made by Callaghan was devastating for the family.
"We've known for quite some time that he was guilty and then when he pleaded not guilty it was heartbreaking. But now the guilty plea is in it's brilliant news," she says.
Mrs Lavagne says the family is glad the ordeal is almost over.
Ms Thomas' mother plans to travel from South Africa to New Zealand for Callaghan's sentencing in March.