The mission to recover the bodies of those killed in Monday's eruption on Whakaari/White Island is underway.
Two Defence Force helicopters have been seen by our reporters heading towards White Island.
It is a beautifully still day in Whakatane.
An eight-member Defence Force team planned to land in the crater.
While it the aim is for people to be on the ground inside the crater for as short a time as possible the entire mission is expected to take a number of hours.
RNZ reporter Ben Strang is at the airport.