Cyclone Gabrielle: Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty's heart sunk when body was found in search for firefighter

Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty says his heart sunk when he heard a body had been found in the search for a trapped firefighter in Muriwai.

He was only informed of the news as he walked to a press conference in the Beehive theatrette on Wednesday.

"We've just received news that in the search for the missing firefighter a body has been located [and] yet to be identified," McAnulty said at the top of the press conference.

"Nevertheless our deepest condolences to the family, to the community and, of course, to all volunteers and emergency services. This no doubt will hit hard."

He was later asked if any stories or scenarios had stood out to him as he's overseen the response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

"I think the thing that's hit me the hardest, if I'm gonna be completely upfront with you, is the volunteer firefighter getting trapped.

"We rely on volunteer firefighters, every community in the country relies on them. When they respond to a natural weather event, it's in their own patch. So they're leaving their own home and their own family to help others. That's just an absolute tragedy that's gonna kind of hurt a lot of people."

He said his heart sunk when he found out.

Before being elected to Parliament in 2017, McAnulty was a volunteer firefighter.

Fire and Emergency chief executive Kerry Gregory confirmed on Wednesday morning a body had been found in the search for a firefighter trapped after a landslide caused a house to collapse in Muriwai on Monday night. It's understood the firefighter is Dave van Zwanenberg.

"This morning, our team, working alongside police, has located a body in the area where they were searching. We have not yet identified who this is and will be working with police to retrieve and identify the body."

Gregory said it was a "difficult time" for the family, the Muriwai Volunteer Fire Brigade and the wider Fire and Emergency New Zealand team.

Another firefighter, Craig Stevens, was rescued from the collapsed house on Monday night. He's in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

The pair were investigating flooding at a house on Motutara Rd in Muriwai when the landslide caused it to collapse.