One person is dead and another is in critical condition after a yacht sank off the coast of Northland.
Emergency services were notified following reports a yacht sank about 3km off the coast of Cape Brett, says a police spokesperson.
A caller to the 0800 SUNLIVE news hotline says one of the people involved is a local Tauranga person, but this is yet to be confirmed by police.
A mayday call was received about 12.30pm today after the 47 foot yacht got into trouble in the bad weather.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand have been co-ordinating a response.
"Two rescue helicopters from Auckland, a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion, a Coastguard vessel and a merchant vessel were sent to respond.
"The P3 Orion dropped a life raft to the crew and then the four occupants of the boat were winched by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
"Sadly, one person has subsequently died."
Police are in process of notifying their next of kin.
Another person is in a critical condition and is being transported to hospital by helicopter.
"The remaining people who were on board are in moderate condition and are being treated by ambulance," says police.
"The situation is still ongoing, and it is too soon to speculate on what caused the boat to sink."