The pilot of a glider plane and his passenger were killed after their plane crashed into Mt Tauhara near Taupo last Sunday, May 31.

The pilot was identified as Taupo's Anthony Fredrick Hector Budd, 78, and his passenger Kusum Pasha (nee Chandrappa), 41, of Wellington.

The incident was reported on Sunday, May 31, at around 2:45 p.m. that a glider had crashed at Mt Tauhara and specialist teams were helicoptered to retrieve the bodies of the deceased.

Due to darkness, weather condition and location, the deceased, and glider remained in place overnight under police guard on Sunday, and their bodies were retrieved on Monday by the specialist team.

A contact person known to the deceased woman said that the funeral of Ms Kusum Pasha was conducted as per Islamic rituals on Tuesday, June 2, in the presence of community members in Wellington.

"I knew the deceased and her husband and as I am a marriage celebrant and conducted their wedding five years ago," Tahir Nawaz, a community leader, president of Islamic organisation IMAN and a known to the deceased's family told The Indian Weekender.

The death of the pair has been referred to the coroner, and the circumstances that led to the crash is being investigated by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

"Ms Kusum Pasha's husband was actively involved in the mosque and community activities in Wellington, they had come from Indian five years ago," Mr Nawaz said.

A report on NZ Herald said that the couple had come to Taupo for a holiday and Ms Kusum’s husband did the first trip on the glider and was waiting for his wife to return from the scenic flight.

A rahui was placed by Tauhara Mountain Trust in respect of the decease3d for five days which will be lifted on Saturday, June 6.

Taupo Gliding Club president Tim Norman called the accident "tragic and devastating".

"The pilot was a friend and a colleague, and we are grieving for the family of the passenger," NZ Herald reported.

Mt Tauhara is a dormant lava volcano, peaks at 1088m above sea level.