A British mother and daughter, who have been identified among the White Island burns victims, face being in New Zealand hospitals "for some time".

Retired Hampshire social worker Liz McGill, 67, and her daughter Heather, a 34-year-old product director, were on White Island when the volcano erupted on December 9.

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McGill's ex husband and father to Heather, Ian McGill, yesterday identified the UK pair as among the burns victims in an interview with the Daily Mail Australia.

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'It is in fact my ex wife and my elder daughter. They are both in hospital in New Zealand," McGill said.

Retired UK social worker Liz McGill, 67, and her daughter Heather, a 34-year-old product director, both suffered severe burns in the White Island disaster. Photo / Facebook
Retired UK social worker Liz McGill, 67, and her daughter Heather, a 34-year-old product director, both suffered severe burns in the White Island disaster. Photo / Facebook

"They have burns, I'm not going to say to what extent, but suffice to say they are likely to be there for some time."

The pair, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, are understood to be in separate hospitals in New Zealand and have undergone multiple operations for their injuries after being caught up in the volcanic eruption, which killed 16 people.

"I think the costs are already covered by insurance, I'm certainly hoping it will be, but I think given that it's the other side of the world and whichever way you go, whether it's east or west, you are talking about at least a 24-hour flight," McGill said.

"I can't conceive any airline will accept them as paying passengers, therefore we have to be talking about air ambulance."

The mother and daughter had been holidaying in New Zealand, but Heather had been living in China. She is a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University and is now a product director for a major multinational company.

Ian McGill said his other children Fiona, 30, and David, 37, had flown out to New Zealand to be with the pair.

"They flew out last Thursday. My younger daughter is there with her husband and their own daughter and they are coming back in a few days."

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Ian McGill said he had not been informed if his daughter and ex-wife would make a full recovery.

"I have no info regarding that, but when they do come back they will be into the regional burns unit in Salisbury," McGill said.

On December 18, police handed over the search for the last victims of the White Island explosion to local experts, insisting they "haven't given up".

The two remaining bodies missing since the White Island eruption are likely to have been washed out to sea, police say.

Tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman, 40, and Australian tourist Winona Langford, 17, are the two people who have not been found since the volcano erupted on Monday, December 9.

The police dive squad has searched for them without success.

Deputy Commissioner John Tims said there was no guarantee the bodies of those missing would be found.

It was the considered view of experts that their bodies were washed out to sea after a "significant weather event" the night of the island's explosion, Tims said.

"Police recognise the immense pain this must cause their families."