Police Minister Stuart Nash has hit out at police leading the operation following the White Island eruption.
The minister held a late-night media conference after meeting with police to tell them they were not meeting his expectations in terms of transparency.
"It is important that all parties remain fully informed of developments as and when they occur. I expect a level of transparency and openness that perhaps has not existed until now," he said.
His comments follow a media briefing on Wednesday morning that came to an abrupt end without any explanation. It was being led by Acting Assistant Commissioner Bruce Bird who stopped answering questions and walked out after just five minutes.
Minister Nash has now changed the leadership of the operation, diverting Mike Clement away from the Government's buyback scheme to take over.
Clement has been told by the minister to stop ignoring the advice of local pilot Mark Law who has extensive knowledge of flying in the area. Law believes he could have recovered the bodies by now, and will join the team of police planning the recovery operation.
When asked by Newshub if the minister had lost confidence in police he said he hadn't.