Four people have been rescued from the Hokianga Harbour after their boat capsized while crossing the bar in 2m swells.

All four people on the boat were wearing lifejackets and that, along with the fact one of them had a waterproof VHF radio so they could keep in contact with rescuers, is being credited with a successful rescue.

All returned to shore safely but the group were in the water for some time before the Hokianga Coastguard volunteers rescued them, a Coastguard spokeswoman said.

They are being taken ashore at Opononi Wharf where a St John ambulance is to pick them up and take them to hospital, although they may yet be taken by rescue helicopter.

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The Coastguard spokeswoman said the four had a range of minor injuries. The worst was a cut to the head.

Police said they were told about 11.30am a 4.5m boat, believed to be an aluminium dinghy, may have overturned while crossing the Hokianga Bar in rough water.