Thomas William Gray was born two minutes into the new year - more than two weeks overdue and after an emergency procedure.
His father, Clint Gray, of Pukekohe, said Thomas seemed determined to wait until 2012 to come out.
The newborn's names rank among the most popular for the past year: Thomas was 19th and William 5th in 2011.
Mr Gray said Thomas was meant to be an Oliver - the number three name.
But two days after his birth the couple came up with Thomas William Gray as a name that seemed appropriate "for someone who is going to make his mark for good in this challenging world".
Mr Gray said he had never felt so much adrenaline as during the night - by far the most exciting New Year's Eve he had experienced.
Thomas was due on December 16, and his mother, Rebecca Gray, was taken to hospital on December 30.
The next day Mrs Gray was given an epidural - but her baby's heart rate started to drop just after 11pm, and it was found that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Thomas' neck.
"We needed an emergency C-section so the monitors were turned off," Mr Gray said.
They were delayed for two minutes when another emergency case came through, but their situation meant Mrs Gray was rushed into surgery with Mr Gray in a panic.
The hospital staff, however, were relaxed, professional and celebratory of the New Year baby, born at 12.02pm, the first baby of 2012.
"We had planned to have a natural water birth in Pukekohe and got the farthest thing from it," Mr Gray said.
"He was honestly waiting for it - 2012 was going to be his year."