An 86-year-old woman was stranded for two days on a cruise ship north east of Great Barrier Island before a helicopter was able to reach her.
The cruise ship Astor was en route from the Pacific Islands to Auckland, but only came into flying range this morning, Maritime New Zealand said.
A Whangarei-based rescue helicopter was sent out to the ship, stopping on Great Barrier Island to refuel, Northland Emergency Services Trust chief executive Peter Turnbull said.
It met the ship about 270 kilometres out and picked the woman up.
"We dropped our paramedic onto the ship, he assessed the lady and put her on to a stretcher and we wedged her on board and returned, via Great Barrier Island again for a bit more fuel, and on to Auckland Hospital."
The trust made about three or four similar trips to cruise ships each year.