A 13-year-old Dutch girl born in New Zealand is fighting to be declared a Kiwi so she can sail around the world alone.

Laura Dekker is battling child protection authorities in her Netherlands homeland who are taking the case to court in a bid to stop the teenager from making the trip.

But the teenager, who was born on a yacht off the coast of New Zealand during a seven-year world trip her parents were making, is now looking to gain residency and a New Zealand passport to get away from Dutch authorities and make the solo trip from here.

Laura and her father, Dick Dekker, yesterday spent the day pleading with judges and child protection authorities to let her make the trip.

She told a Dutch television news show: "Since I was 10 years old, I've known that I would like to sail around the world. I want simply to learn about the world and to live freely."

Social workers and child protection authorities are fighting to have the teenager made a ward of court so her parents - who support her plans - will lose the right to make decisions on her behalf, for a short period of time.

Laura is reported to have had her own yacht at the age of six and was only 10 years old when she started sailing by herself.

She plans to sail on her boat, dubbed Guppy, on September 1, when she will be 14.

If she is granted the right to make the trip, she will miss out on almost two years of school and will be the youngest person to sail around the globe alone.

The current youngest person to make a solo sailing trip around the world is 17-year-old Zac Sutherland who finished his 13-month journey last month.

A Dutch judge will decide on Friday whether the teenager will be taken into child protection custody.