A flooded boat which issued a mayday call this morning off Little Barrier Island, north of Auckland, is no longer at risk after a Coastguard vessel reached it in time.

Two people on board the 26ft launch called into Coastguard Northern Region around 10.30am today, reporting "mechanical issues, and water coming in through an engine shaft".

Coastguard Northern Region duty manager Nico Doodeman said its Kawau rescue vessel arrived on the scene around 12.45am, after travelling from Sandspit, Warkworth.

"The ingress [leak] is definitely under control now. It looks like the engine seized, which is what caused all the problems," Doodeman said.

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"The boat's okay, there's no risk of it sinking now."

Doodeman said the damaged boat was now being towed back to Sandspit, Warkworth.

A vessel from North Shore Rescue is also heading out to assist the rescue.

Just before 11am, Doodeman had described a tense scene on board the flooding vessel.

"At the moment their pumps are keeping up," Doodeman said at the time.

"The two people on board are wearing their lifejackets and if the pumps fail are prepared to abandon the vessel, with a tender standing by."

However, at 11.30am it was reported that flooding had stopped on board the launch.

Another boat had also reached the flooded vessel, and was waiting alongside to assist if needed.

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Coastguard Northern Region said its Kawau rescue vessel was still 30 minutes off reaching the stricken vessel.

The two people on board the distressed vessel did not know what had caused the flooding.