Families relieved by police plan to recover bodies from Whakaari/White Island

Police are planning to recover bodies from Whakaari/White Island on Friday, and an exact plan on how that will be done is being finalised.

It comes as a major relief to frustrated families who feel they've been messed around by authorities.

Minister of Police Stuart Nash was in damage control on Thursday, spending two hours on the Te Manuka Tutahi Marae speaking with families.

The announcement came late in the afternoon that there's a plan to retrieve bodies from the island, but there's clearly a massive risk for whoever is tasked with going back to get them.

That risk is getting higher as each day passes. GNS said the chance of eruption in the next 24 hours has risen to 50 to 60 percent.

Mark Inman flew as close as he could get to the island yesterday. His brother Hayden Marshall-Inman's body is still stuck there. 

"You just gotta keep fighting. You just gotta stay strong and commit. You never leave a job unfinished, you know," he said.

Along with pilot Tom Storey, they've led the effort to get the bodies off the island.

"I've got a pilot here who's beside himself because he's just been told he can't go out.

"You're actually shaking with anger now," Inman said.

"Oh yeah, I'm just speechless bro," Storey said.

That anger will only subside when the eight bodies have been returned to the families.

GNS scientist Nico Fournier explained what people could face if the island erupts while they're there.

"Very fast ballistics. So we're talking blocks, rocks going at incredibly high speeds, and that would be one source of casualty basically," he said.

The bodies are a 15-minute walk from the shoreline, and they're clustered within 200 metres of each other.