An out of control waka narrowly avoided hitting the Ngapipi Bridge in Auckland's harbour after gale force winds set it off course.

At about 6.45pm on Wednesday Auckland Maritime Police responded to a mayday call on the marine distress channel.

Ten people aboard the waka marked for Waitangi celebrations came into trouble after the waka was hit by gale force winds of 55kmh.

The large sailing waka was moving from Okahu Bay onto the western side of the Orakai Marina.

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Sergeant Gary Larsen of Maritime Police said after the waka was blown off course a line got caught in the motor and stalled the engine while heading for Ngapipi Bridge.

The occupants of the waka appear pleased to have been saved by the Auckland Maritime Police. Picture / Supplied
The occupants of the waka appear pleased to have been saved by the Auckland Maritime Police. Picture / Supplied

"This caused the waka to get extremely close to the bridge."

Members of the public on Tamaki Drive called police with concerns about the safety of the people on board.

Maritime Police then arrived and managed to tow the waka clear of the bridge and were towed into the Orakai Marina.

There was no injuries and no damage to the waka.

The waka had recently been shipped to New Zealand to be involved in Waitangi celebrations next week.

The waka would around the North Island and eventually sail back to Samoa.