Little Rita May Morgan doesn't know what the fuss is about — she's just happy to drink up the good life at McLeod Bay in the first days of 2018.

Rita was only 1 day old and firmly latched to her mother at meal time yesterday, when the Advocate visited to catch up with a Northland New Year baby.

Her parents are Katherine Smith and Ben Morgan, and her big sister is toddler Joan, 19 months.

Rita was delivered during a home birth at 7.30am on Monday morning.


Ms Smith had some twinges the afternoon before but it wasn't until the family were at a friend's place to celebrate New Year's Eve it became apparent their baby, expected mid-January, would be born earlier.

''We went home and spent a really lovely night, listening to music, relaxing,'' Mr Morgan said.

Labour progressed through to daybreak, slowly.

Then things quickly sped up, and the first of two baby catchers from Team Midwives arrived just in time to deliver the baby whose gender was unknown until that moment.

At 4.08kg (8lb 14oz) ) Rita's birth weight was more than 2lb heavier than Joan's, so the delivery was a little harder for their mum.

''But I feel so lucky to have had her at home,'' Ms Smith said. ''My first delivery was in the hospital and after that experience I felt very confident about the home birth. I was healthy, the pregnancy had gone well.

''She's (Rita) so relaxed. I do think that's to do with how relaxed we all are.''

At the moment mum has taken time off her job as an arts administrator while dad is on holiday from his job as an osteopath.

Their New Year wish for their January 1 baby's and her sister's future is for happiness, discovering the joy of nature, and living a life where ''they can get dirty, play outside, get in the water. We really want the girls to have a healthy, outdoor life.''

Ms Smith and Mr Morgan have lived in New Zealand for 5 and a half years, coming here from the United Kingdom. While their children are New Zealand citizens, the pull of family back in England and Wales is strong for their parents.

''Obviously, we have a strong focus on family. In fact, we've decided to go back to the UK while the children are small so they can get to know their grandparents from a very young age.''

They have recently sold their charming McLeod Bay cottage but are able to stay there for a few more months.

''We don't think it will be a permanent move,'' Ms Smith said of returning to the UK.

''Who knows what will happen. We didn't know what life would bring when we came to New Zealand and we have ended up with two children and a house at the beach.''