Two more victims of the White Island eruption have died overnight in hospital, taking the official toll to eight.
Police made the grim announcement this morning.
One victim was being treated at Middlemore Hospital and one at Waikato Hospital.
"Police remain focused on supporting families at this terrible time."
A further nine people are still missing or presumed dead, with eight thought to be on the island.
Meanwhile, a close-knit family on the trip of a lifetime to celebrate Australian vet nursing student Krystal Browitt's 21st birthday has been torn apart by New Zealand's volcanic blast.
Browitt was yesterday identified as one of nine people missing, feared dead, with father Paul in a coma in an Auckland hospital and sister Stephanie in a Christchurch burns unit.
They were on a tour of White Island from the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship when disaster struck on Monday as her mother, Marie, remained on board.
Devastated friend Angelo Frattasio said Krystal, from Craigieburn in Victoria, "always had a smile on her face". "She's an amazing person," he said.
Frattasio said the Browitts were a "very close family that did everything together".
The family took the "cruise of a lifetime" to celebrate Krystal Browitt's 21st, boarding the ship less than a week after her November 29 birthday.
"She [Krystal] was very excited to go on the cruise and excited to relax," Frattasio said.
The Browitt's neighbour, Supreetha Konda, said yesterday that they were "beautiful" people.
"I can't imagine what Marie is going through all alone," she told Channel 7.
Another friend told the Herald Sun that they had been "crying for days".
"Everyone is devastated, lost and confused about how and why this could happen," the friend said.
"They are humble, deserving, kind. Everyone who is friends with them adores them."
Of Browitt, the friend said: "You hold out hope because that is all you have."
Browitt's boyfriend, Daniel Czimmerman, has rushed to New Zealand to join the family.
Other friends devastated at the news about the Craigieburn family have rallied to support them, launching an online fundraiser.
One friend said she was "lost for words", while another said the family was in her thoughts and prayers.
Browitt's colleagues at Craigieburn's Woolworths store were "shaken", and were yesterday offered counselling.
Seismic activity on the island has significantly increased since Monday when it erupted, killing six travellers, injuring more than 30 and leaving nine others - seven Australians and two New Zealanders - listed as missing presumed dead.
- Herald Sun