An aluminium dinghy with one adult and four children on board was rescued in rough seas off Parapara in Golden Bay.
Police said the boat had gone out to set a long line about 150 metres offshore when the engine failed on Thursday afternoon. The dinghy was blown about four kilometres out to sea.
Mussel boats working in the area assisted in the search along with a rescue helicopter and an aircraft from Golden Bay Air.
The dinghy was found and the occupants transferred onto a mussel boat.
Constable Bruce Telford says the people are holidaying in Golden Bay and were very relieved to be picked up.