No Australians caught up in NZ hostel fire tragedy

·2-min read
Masanori Udagawa/AAP PHOTOS

No Australians have been caught up in a hostel fire in New Zealand's capital that has claimed at least six lives.

The New Zealand foreign affairs ministry has advised the Australian government that no citizens were impacted by the blaze at the Loafers Lodge hostel but will update the high commission as new information emerges.

The Australian foreign affairs department has not received any calls for consular assistance.

"We are deeply shocked and saddened by news of the fire at the Loafers Lodge Hostel in Wellington overnight," a department spokesperson told AAP on Tuesday evening.

"The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed that police have not identified any Australian citizens who have been impacted."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the fire as a "dreadful human tragedy".

The 92-room hostel was at capacity at the time of the blaze, with a number of people still unaccounted for.

The prime minister said he had spoken with New Zealand counterpart Chris Hipkins following the fire, and offered Australian assistance.

"This is a dreadful human tragedy. I expressed my condolences on behalf of Australia to our friends in New Zealand at this very difficult time," Mr Albanese said.

"Any assistance of course will, as always, be available from Australia to New Zealand at what is a very difficult time.

"It is clear that there have been a number of deaths, the exact number may well rise."

It is estimated 94 people were in the hostel at the time of the fire, which NZ emergency services have confirmed is being treated as suspicious.

Opposition trade spokesman Simon Birmingham said Australians would join in sending condolences to New Zealanders affected by the event.

"This is a terrible tragedy and one that will be felt particularly right across New Zealand but especially so in the small community of Wellington," he told Sky News.

"It's a big task of recovery when we see a loss of life at such scale and there will be so many families, so many people affected."