Elisa Gaualofa's New Year's Eve plans were meant to include a weekend away in Tauranga. Instead, she not only welcomed in the New Year but a baby boy, too.

Her son, who hasn't yet been named, was the first baby born in Rotorua Hospital in 2016 after arriving at 4.37am, yesterday.

It came as a surprise for his mum, with the boy making his way into the world more than two weeks before his January 18 due date.

Mrs Gaualofa said her son, weighed in at a healthy 3440g (or 7lb 5oz). It was pretty special for him to be born on New Year's Day, she said.

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Her sister Alofagia Peleti, who was also her birthing partner, said on the way to the hospital the pair had joked the wee boy might make the Rotorua Daily Post as the first arrival of the year, but didn't actually expect it to happen.

"When we came up here this morning we were the only ones here ... it felt like a ghost town it was so quiet."

She put the newborn's early arrival down to the fact they'd made arrangements for New Year's Eve. "I think he knew we had other plans."

Mrs Gaualofa said her newborn looked a lot like her second son Samu, who is 13 years old. Her second youngest, 8-year-old Junior, didn't know she'd had the baby as he was with his grandparents, so they were planning to surprise him with his new brother yesterday afternoon.

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