Injured civilians are being assessed after an eruption at White Island.
The active volcano erupted around 2.15pm today, with multiple people injured as a result.
St John director of operations Norma Lane told Heather du Plessis-Allabn Newstalk ZB as many as seven helicopters are heading to the island.
“We’re expecting burns, there could be respiratory issues, there could be head injuries, fractures, etc. from rocks or stones, we really don’t know at this stage. This is an incident that is still evolving and we’re still waiting to get the reports from the clinicians on the scene.
“We will get to those people as quickly as we can and get them to the right centres,” she said.
She says they're staging the helicopters heading out there due to the risks of the air quality.
Lane says national medical director Dr Tony Smith is flying to White Island.
"He will help us to assess in what we call triage casualties and help coordinate the evacuation."