Police rescue dozens on Auckland Harbour

Police have rescued 36 people, including children, from a luxury charter boat on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour after it began taking on water.

Emergency services were alerted to the incident aboard the MV Dreamweaver at 1.48pm after the four crew on board noticed the problem and issued a distress signal via maritime radio. It is not known why the vessel started taking on water.

The police launch Deodar and Coastguard rescue vessels were sent to help the stricken catamaran which was in the Tiri Channel, off Whangaparaoa to the north of Auckland city, and return the passengers to Z Pier at Westhaven Marina.

A police spokesman said none of the rescued were injured although a number were suffering from sea sickness.

Ambulance staff assessed the passengers upon arrival at Westhaven marina in central Auckland and all were able to leave the scene without further treatment.

A fire service spokesman said the vessel, an 18m long luxury catamaran, had been towed back to Gulf Harbour marina at which stage there was an electrical fire in the engine.

The fire was thought to be minor but he was unsure of the extent of any damage.

Coastguard media spokeswoman Georgie Smith said the actions of the crew, who had stayed on the vessel while it was brought back to the marina, had been exemplary.

She said the day might not have ended up how the passengers would have liked but praised the efforts of the rescue crews.

According to the company website, the MV Dreamweaver is a "state-of-the art, purpose-built luxury charter catamaran, refitted specifically to enable corporate and private cruises of a standard not previously available in Auckland".

"The layout of the vessel is designed to provide the maximum on-the-water viewing experience without compromising comfort and safety and is superbly equipped for company meetings, multimedia presentations, networking or private occasion entertaining."

Attempts to contact the operators of the vessel were unsuccessful.

Maritime New Zealand has been informed of the incident.

Fairfax Media