The pilot and passenger killed in a glider crash near Taupō have been named.

Taupō pilot Anthony Frederick Hector Budd and Kusum Pasha (nee Chandrappa), of Wellington, died in the accident on Mt Tauhara last Sunday.

Their deaths have been referred to the Coroner and the circumstances of the crash were being investigated by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

Pasha, 41 and her husband had been members of the Muslim community in Wellington for about five years.

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Tahir Nawaz, the president of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand told the Rotorua Daily Post he knew the couple well and that Kusum's husband was heartbroken.

"It's very painful for him and for me as a community leader that we're going through this."

He said the hardest part was not being able to bury Kusum promptly as called for under Islamic religious laws.

"I spoke to him and he was in tears we have to wait this long. It's heartbreaking for him."

Tahir Nawaz, the president of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand. Photo / File
Tahir Nawaz, the president of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand. Photo / File

Nawaz said he and the husband had a strong bond and they prayed together many times a day.

"He is very calming and has a great personality and everybody loves him.

"She is a very generous person who always supported community projects."

As soon as the Muslim community heard of the tragedy, a number of people travelled from Wellington and Hamilton to support the husband in Taupō.

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"We've given him our full support ... We will look after the funeral process."

Two people killed in a glider accident on Mt Tauhara have been named. Photo / File
Two people killed in a glider accident on Mt Tauhara have been named. Photo / File

Taupō Gliding Club president Tim Norman earlier told the Herald the accident was "tragic and devastating".

Budd, 78, was was a well-known member of the club.

"We are devastated by the news," Norman said.

"The pilot was a friend and a colleague and we are grieving for the family of the passenger."

Norman said he had no idea what caused the crash.

Mt Tauhara, a dormant lava volcano, peaks at 1088m above sea level.

The Tauhara Mountain Trust placed a rāhui on the mountain for five days out of respect for the families, it said.

The rāhui will end at sunrise on Saturday, June 6.

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