As most Kiwis were partying to see the new year in, others were being born.

The first baby to arrive in 2017 is resting after her midnight arrival.

Ella Whitehead was born at 12.01am at Taranaki Base Hospital to parents Sarah and Lewis Whitehead and has already met her 2-year-old brother, Max.

She is thought to be the first baby to be born in New Zealand in 2017.


Ella's mother, Sarah, said it would be a good story to tell her when she was older.

"It is pretty exciting to think that Ella might be the first baby born in New Zealand and
possibly the world in 2017."

In Auckland, Georgia Tobia was born at North Shore Hospital at 12.25pm weighing 3.3kg (7lb 7oz). A little boy, who his parents declined to name, was born just over the bridge at Auckland City Hospital at exactly the same time, weighing 3.062kg (6lb 7oz).

Georgia's parents, Helen Ryan and Fadi Tobia, had not been expecting their "beautiful baby with lots of hair" to arrive on New Year's Day because their first daughter, Indi, came on her due date and Georgia wasn't due until this Thursday, January 5.

"I was really pleased she was born on the first day of the year. We were pretty much talking about it while I was pushing that she was going to be born on the first day of 2017," the proud mum said.

Ryan, 25, said Indi was besotted with her little sister and kept saying her name over and over again. "She just loves her."

The little family were already back home in Glenfield and Georgia had spent the day sleeping peacefully.

Meanwhile, in the Hawkes Bay, Illa Kingi was in "no rush" to enter the world.


Paeroa couple Tommy Kingi and Verbena Nikora-Young had been waiting more than a week, after Ms Nikora-Young's due date of December 23, before she went into labour yesterday.

But the wait was still not over even after she was admitted to Hawke's Bay Hospital just before 9am yesterday.

Tommy Kingi and Verbena Nikora-Young, from Paeroa with baby Illa born at 12:31am on New Year's Day. Photo / Paul Taylor.
Tommy Kingi and Verbena Nikora-Young, from Paeroa with baby Illa born at 12:31am on New Year's Day. Photo / Paul Taylor.

More than 15 hours later, at 12.31am today, the couple finally welcomed Illa.

It had been "pretty hard" waiting for their first child, Kingi said.

"She wasn't in a rush to come," he said.

"She was just taking her time.

"We're happy to have her now, especially after that long process."

Kingi said his daughter, who weighs 3.62kg (8lb), seemed perfectly healthy.

"She's got five fingers, five toes, and heaps of hair."

The couple live in Paeroa, but often visit Hawke's Bay for Christmas to see Nikora-Young's family.

This time they decided to stay for the New Year, because they knew their daughter was "ready to come any day now".

This meant the proud parents and their newborn had plenty of visitors from their Hawke's Bay family today.

Kingi and Nikora-Young with their family. Photo / Paul Taylor
Kingi and Nikora-Young with their family. Photo / Paul Taylor

Kingi said he did not think his daughter would mind having her birthday on the first day of the year, and he thought it was "pretty cool" she would be one of the first born in 2017.

In Rotorua, Amaia Debbie Lyn Ratoru Maney-Hunt was born at 2.32am and weighed 3.175kg (7lb).

It was a "really cool" feeling knowing she had the first baby born at Rotorua Hospital in 2017, said new mother Nicole Maney.

"It's special and exciting, and woah, what an experience."

Maney, 17, said the birth of her daughter was nothing like she expected.

She said it was nice to finally meet her daughter.

"It's all worth it."

Maney's partner Maui Hunt, 18, said it was an awesome feeling to hold his daughter for the first time, though he found being in the delivery room as she was born a bit "freaky".

"We're looking forward to the future."

Maney said she would be attending a young parenting course in Rotorua.

Waitakere Hospital delivered its first 2017 baby ​at 1.50am.

A Counties Manukau DHB spokeswoman was unable to say exactly when its first baby was delivered, but confirmed it was not before 12.25pm.

A baby girl was born in Hawke's Bay at 12.31pm weighing 4.030kg (8.8lb) - the biggest of the babies whose birth weights were provided to the Herald.

Capital and Coast DHB welcomed its first 2017 baby at 1.52am, Waikato Hospital's first baby was born at 3.20am and Hutt Valley DHB's came three hours later at 6.20am. All three were girls.

Tauranga Hospital had to wait 12 hours to get its first New Year's baby with the arrival of a boy at noon.

Meanwhile Whanganui DHB is still waiting for its first 2017 baby, as is Gisborne.