A young White Island tour guide suffered burns to 80 per cent of his body during Monday's eruption and now faces a long road to recovery.

A Givealittle page has been created for Jake Milbank, who is in the intensive care unit of Middlemore Hospital surrounded by family, to raise money for anything he needs during recovery.

The Givealittle page was created by long-time family friend Rebecca Holder who shared the cause on Facebook saying it was the young man's 19th birthday on the day of the eruption.

Holder told the Herald she created the page so his family would not have to worry about finances while they supported Milbank in hospital.


His parents and sister are all at his side.

Jake Milbank. Photo / Givealittle
Jake Milbank. Photo / Givealittle

"The family thanks everyone for their messages of kind support and every donation will be gratefully received," Holder said.

"He was in his element," she said of Monday's tragedy.

"He just eats, sleeps and breathes everything ocean. It's his passion."

Holder described Milbank as her "miniature Steve Irwin".

"He is passionate about nature and all living creatures, particularly everything in the sea as he and his father spend a lot of time together out there.

"I once found a spider and wasn't sure what it was. Within minutes of sending a photo of it to Jake had identified it and let me know."

Holder said he was always trying to save or care for injured animals.


"He is a very kind boy with a huge heart."

Within hours the Givealittle page raised more than $7000 with several donors commenting to credit the young man as being a great guide to them when they visited the island.

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More details have emerged today about the survivors who were hospitalised across New Zealand after the Whakaari/White Island eruption.

There are 30 patients in six hospitals - Middlemore, Hutt Valley, Auckland City, Tauranga, Waikato and Christchurch - and 25 of those patients are critical with the remainder in a serious but stable condition.