Australian man becomes 16th fatality of New Zealand's volcano disaster

An Australian man has become the 16th person to die in New Zealand’s volcano disaster.

NSW Health confirmed on Sunday the man’s death at Concord Hospital.

New Zealand Police confirmed the man died on Saturday after he was repatriated to Australia following Monday’s eruption on White Island.

“Officers from Burwood Police Area Command attended Concord Hospital following the death of a man after being medically transferred from New Zealand,” NSW Health said in a statement.

Defence force operatives returned to Whakaari on Sunday, two days after their successful high-stakes trip to the active volcano brought back six bodies. Source: AAP

“A report will be prepared for the coroner.

“NSW Health wishes to pass on our condolences to the family.”

The man’s death comes as New Zealand police confirmed the identities of four more White Island victims.

They are Kiwi tour guide Tipene Maangi, 24, Australian schoolgirl Zoe Hosking, 15, her 53-year-old stepfather Gavin Dallow, and another Australian Anthony Langford, 51, The New Zealand Herald reported.

Two patients remain at Concord Hospital in a critical condition and one patient is now stable.

Three patients at Royal North Shore are in a critical condition and two are in a stable condition.

Two more bodies still to be recovered

A follow-up mission to New Zealand's White Island in a bid to retrieve the remains of those still missing was unsuccessful.

Defence force operatives returned to Whakaari on Sunday, two days after their successful high-stakes trip to the active volcano brought back six bodies.

Police understand eight people were killed on the island, and spent Saturday debriefing the operation and searching nearby waters for the last two bodies.

Personnel wore the same protective clothing as they were on the island on Friday (right), but their breathing apparatus was different. Right is a rescue team on the island. Source: AAP
Police divers prepare to search the waters near White Island off the coast of Whakatane on Saturday. Source: AAP

Mission command firmly believe a seventh body is in the water and are increasingly convinced the eighth could be too.

However, both Saturday's water-based search and Sunday's landing have failed to turn up the remains.

National Operations Commander and New Zealand police deputy commissioner John Tims said Sunday morning's visit was quicker than Friday's four-hour salvage effort.

"They will be wearing the same protective clothing as the eight New Zealand Defence Force personnel who were on the island on Friday, however their breathing apparatus will be different, meaning they will only be able to stay on the island for up to 75 minutes," he said before the mission.

Despite returning back to the mainland empty-handed, police have underlined their commitment to the job.

The body of Gavin Dallow (left) who had been missing since Monday had been found with his stepdaughter, Zoe Hosking (right) presumed dead. Lisa Dallow (middle) remains in hospital with serious burns. Source: AAP

"We remain committed to finishing the task at hand and returning the two remaining bodies to their loved ones," Mr Tims said.

In total, 47 people were on White Island during Monday's deadly blast.

There are 14 patients being cared for in four burns units around New Zealand – Middlemore, Hutt Valley, Waikato, and Christchurch – with 10 listed as critical.

—With AAP

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