White Island victim Tipene Maangi was 'jovial person' who made everyone happy, nanny says

The nanny of Whakaari/White Island disaster victim Tipene Maangi is hoping he's one of the six brought off the island today.

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Ruka Tawahiorangi says Tipene Maangi made everyone happy. Source: 1 NEWS

Six bodies were recovered from the island today and brought back to the mainland. They will be transferred to Auckland.

There are two more bodies still on the island yet to be located and brought back.

The recovery team is safe and well on board HMNZS Wellington.

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Map released showing where six bodies recovered from White Island were located

In Whakatāne, families are watching on, hoping it's their loved ones brought back.

Among them, Ruku Tawahiorangi - nanny to Mr Maangi - is hopeful.

"He was a jovial person, he was a person that can talk to anybody, he made everybody happy," she said.

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An aerial search will also continue today, after six of eight bodies were recovered this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

"He loved all his nannies - all his people - and he was the star of the show when they got together. He was the star of the show.

"Everybody liked being around him, like when they had their parties. He didn't need a guitar for a party, he was the guitar himself."

Ms Tawahiorangi said it has been a difficult time for the family. She said she couldn't even sleep.

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The aunties of Tipene Maangi say the 23-year-old was the family’s entertainer. Source: 1 NEWS

"The question is, White Island was playing up when the tour was on. Why did they send them out there?

"I wasn't worried about it [him working on the island] but when I heard about the blow I thought, 'Hope it's not any of them.'"