Two people and a dog have been rescued after a tugboat hit rocks off Tutukaka.

Coastguard Northern Region tweeted the 13m vessel had issued a distress call after hitting the rocks, just north of Whangarei.

The Coastguard said the man and woman and their dog were brought to shore after their emergency beacon narrowed down their location in the harbour.

The vessel was now on rocks and would be salvaged today.