Baby born on Waiheke ferry

The Kororā. Photo credit: Q-West

Fullers Ferries staff in Auckland are celebrating the unexpected arrival of a baby on board one of their vessels on Saturday.

An expectant mother was on her way to hospital on the 7am trip, sailing from Waiheke Island. But the baby came before she got there.

Fullers operations manager Megan Watson says the onboard crew were very excited.

"We did want to have a crew naming competition for the baby - we could have named her Kororā, after the vessel she was born on, which is a lovely name. But I think they beat us to it and have actually already named her."

One commuter told NZME people were worried when they saw the woman being stretchered off, fearing she was ill.

"But then coming behind was a guy clutching a shawl, and we were like, 'Is that a baby?'" said Noel Barkley, who lives on Waiheke.

"Someone asked him if it was, and he said yes. He was smiling so it seemed like everything was all right."

Both mother and baby are believed to be doing fine. Her midwife happened to be with her at the time.

Watson says it's pretty special.

"This is only the second time in Fullers' history - over 38 years - that people can remember a baby being born on board."