Spectators will have to wait at least another day to see a rocket launch in Mahia after several attempts today.

More than 50 people set up camp at the unofficial viewing site on Blucks Pit Rd, in Nuhaka, hoping for the launch of Rocket Lab's test launch from their launch site Complex 1 on Mahia Peninsula from 2.30pm.

However, after several attempts including one that had to be called off at the last minute due to a "rogue" boat the launch was scrubbed for the day just before 6pm.

"A rogue ship entered our launch-range area resulting us in having to go into a manually induced hold for the launch. This is of course for safety reasons as we can't have boats down range of the vehicle...we are going to be recycling the vehicle and getting ready for another attempt today," Rocket Lab's mission control in Auckland said.


The launch was put on hold less than a minute before scheduled lift-off.

Doug and Diane Brennan came all the way from Wellington especially to watch the launch because their son is on the launch team.

Mr Brennan said they would stay until Monday waiting for a blast-off, however, they had hoped for action today and were feeling optimistic before the launch window opened at 2.30pm.

"We're excited and proud," Mrs Brennan said.

Patrick and Elizabeth McCormack, of Wairoa, said they wanted to see the launch as it was great for the district and was something different to do.

"It beats mowing the lawn," Mr McCormack said.

"We were passing and thought we might see it."

Having something so unique in Wairoa was very positive for a district that sometimes had a bad reputation, he said.

"It's got people talking and it's bringing people into Wairoa.

"It's put Wairoa on the map."

Katie Woodruffe drove with her family from Poukawa for the day in the hopes of sharing some real life science action with her children.

"It's not often that you can do things of this magnitude so close to home," she said.

"It's a really great opportunity for the kids."

Bronwen Pepperell, of New Plymouth, stopped in for the afternoon with her family on the way to Gisborne for a holiday.

"We knew the launch was possible before we left home," she said.

"We saw the sign on the way to Gisborne so we thought we'd see what we found."

Having a rocket launch site in New Zealand was wonderful and a great thing for her children to see, Mrs Pepperell said.

"We're pretty excited to be here on a possible launch day."

Rocket Lab's nine-day launch window started at 2.30pm today and will be for four hours each day.