The six bodies that have been recovered from Whakaari/White Island have landed at Whenuapai airbase, in Auckland.

A row of hearses was lined up alongside the tarmac ready to transport the bodies to Auckland Hospital, where post mortems will be conducted.

Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed this afternoon that there are two remaining bodies yet to be found.

The bodies arrived at Whenuapai airbase. Photo / Michael Craig
The bodies arrived at Whenuapai airbase. Photo / Michael Craig

Speaking earlier this afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she wanted to acknowledge the families who have experienced "such grief and loss" since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday.

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"Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones."

Ardern also acknowledged Ngati Awa.

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"Many families said how important and special that was to them.

"We know reunification won't ease that grief.

"But we felt an enormous duty of care as New Zealanders to bring them back.

"We know that reunification won't ease that sense of loss or grief. I don't think anything can."

Focus Live Earlier: 6 Bodies recovered from Whakaari/White Island.

Ardern said she visited the HMS Otago today.

"On the ship were scientists, St John, police, and our defence force. All of whom played an integral role in returning people today.

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"They were humble, they were true professionals and they carried out their role with dignity and respect for those who have been lost.

"There was of course a huge amount of courage to do what they did today.

"My job on behalf of New Zealand was to say thank you to them."

The bodies will be taken to Auckland Hospital for post mortems. Photo / Michael Craig
The bodies will be taken to Auckland Hospital for post mortems. Photo / Michael Craig

Ardern confirmed details around the surviving victims of the eruption.

"All but one Australian will over the coming days been medivaced to Australia," she said.

When asked about people visiting an active volcano, Ardern said the volcano had been visited over 30 years.

"We hear absolutely that questions are being asked and they must be answered.

"The processes such as the coronial process will allow us to answer those questions," she said.

"We also need to respect the phase we're in now, with families having only just got their loved ones back.

Defense Personnel helped move the caskets from a helicopter to a hearse at Whenuapai Airbase. Photo / Michael Craig
Defense Personnel helped move the caskets from a helicopter to a hearse at Whenuapai Airbase. Photo / Michael Craig

When asked if the tragedy justified a Royal inquiry she said: "We need to look at the situation in front of us ... the questions will be answered, but we also need to give some space to the families."

Four days on from the eruption disaster, eight people are confirmed dead, the youngest a 13-year-old Australian schoolboy.