Authorities have said an Adelaide lawyer and his teenage stepdaughter are among the dead following the White Island volcanic eruption.

New Zealand Police told the family of Gavin Dallow, 53, that his body has been recovered and identified while 15-year-old Zoe Hosking is presumed dead, with her body on White Island.

Dallow's wife and Zoe's mother, Lisa, 49, is fighting for her life in Waikato Hospital with severe burns and her brother is reportedly keeping a bedside vigil.

Lisa Hosking is in Waikato Hospital while her daughter Zoe Hosking is presumed dead.
Lisa Hosking is in Waikato Hospital while her daughter Zoe Hosking is presumed dead.

"We mourn the loss of Gavin and Zoe," the Dallow family said in a statement on Wednesday confirming their losses.

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"Gavin was a wonderful son and brother. We'll miss him at the cricket and we'll miss him at the football. He was a generous man, always helping his family and his community.

He was a person who was always helping others. He also enjoyed his sport, football and tennis, a family spokesman said.

"Naturally it will have a big impact [on the family]. We're just coming on Christmas. We're really going to miss him.

He said if Dallow had known there was a danger, he wouldn't have gone on to the island.

"I'm quite sure of that."

He also said the family were devastated at the death of 15-year-old Zoe.

"Our hearts break at the loss of Zoe at such a young age."

Zoe was an active Girl Guides member while her mother and stepfather are adored by the Rotary Club of Adelaide.

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"We know her loss will also devastate her school community and the local Girl Guides, of which she was an active member.

"She was always on the go."

Jessica Richards, 20, and Julie Richards, 47, are reportedly among the dead.
Jessica Richards, 20, and Julie Richards, 47, are reportedly among the dead.

Family have also received word from NZ Police that Brisbane mother Julie Richards, 47, and her daughter Jessica, 20, are among the dead. Police told the family of the deaths.

John Mickel, a friend of Julie Richards' brother Michael, said it was devastating news.

"You live in hope it's not going to be your loved one's name that comes up," he said.

"But the hope was snuffed out this morning with the message from the New Zealand police."

The pair were adventurous and loved the outdoors, he said.

"If there was an adventure that offered itself, then they would be the ones to do it."

Jess was a promising AFL player who loved animals and was studying veterinary science at the University of Queensland.