Pilot Mark Inman frustrated after Government refuses to let him recover brother's body from Whakaari/White Island

Mark Inman's attempt to recover his brother's body from Whakaari/White Island himself has fallen flat, rejected by the Police Minister.

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Hayden Marshall-Inman died in the eruption and his brother, Mark Inman, wants him back. Source: 1 NEWS

The helicopter pilot was one of the three who headed straight to the island after Monday's eruption to help evacuate people.

The body of his brother, Hayden Marshall-Inman, remains on the island.

"It's not frustration that they can't get to the island, it's more frustration that they haven't gone to the island," Mr Inman told 1 NEWS this morning.

"There's been two perfect opportunities to get out there and they haven't gone."

Last night Police Minister Stuart Nash confirmed he wouldn't let Mr Inman go back to retrieve the body himself, saying it's still too dangerous.

"The last thing we want to do is for people to risk their lives and go out to the island in a foolhardy [mission], but I understand out of frustration, when in fact all they're doing is putting themselves in great harm."

Even though it might look okay from a distance, the island is still dangerous, Mr Nash said.

"The island today is not what it was on Monday morning. Believing because there's blue sky and you can see the island, there are no hazards, is completely false."

Mr Inman is scathing of the volcanologist reports that another eruption is possible, with significantly increased seismic activity monitored at the volcano.

"We're trusting the experts who sit behind a desk, making calls based on statistics."

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Three days on, GNS volcanologist Brad Scott says it’s still not safe for people to return to the island. Source: Breakfast

Instead of looking at the data and figures, Mr Inman says they should be trusting the locals.

"You've got two pilots and a bunch of volunteers who go to the island every single day, and know the island inside-out, saying let's go, let's do it, let's get it done.

"I appreciate the sensitivity around the bodies and the state that they're in… or perceived to be in, and yes we have to be careful and have to be respectful, but hey, we need them to be home."

Poor communication hasn't helped. Mr Inman says he only found out he wasn't allowed to go at 10pm - seven hours after he initially appealed to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and was told Mr Nash would respond.

In the same press conference, Mr Nash said there's been a lack of transparency from officials over the past three days and it needs to change.

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Stuart Nash says Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement has been called in to take over operational control at Whakatāne. Source: Breakfast

"Red tape, bureaucracy, leadership has failed," Mr Inman says.

"Communication has been terrible… The messages aren't getting across to the families in due course, we're finding out via the news."

He says he just wants to get his brother back.

"Let the people who want to go, who are qualified to go, go and get our families back."

Eight people have been confirmed dead in the tragedy, with another eight people presumed dead on the island. Dozens of others are being treated for severe burns in hospitals around the country.

Recovery crews are on standby and waiting for approval to go, with fellow helicopter pilot Mark Law invited to join them.