An urgent meeting is being called by the MP for Auckland Central following reports of violence and tension on Waiheke ferries.

National MP Nikki Kaye said she was "deeply concerned" and has called for a meeting with Fullers chief executive Mike Horne to address staffing, resourcing, scheduling and security issues on its ferry services.

The Herald on Sunday reported of frustrated commuters lashing out at crew and escalating tensions caused by reduced winter sailings to the island.

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye. Photo / File
Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye. Photo / File

In an email to Horne, Kaye said she had received multiple complaints regarding Fullers' ferry services to the island.


"I am very concerned at what I see as under-resourcing in terms of both staff and sailings," she said.

"Media reports which indicate massive queues and tensions escalating between staff and residents and other commuters ... is deeply concerning."

Kaye said frequent cancellation of sailings by the sole provider also had a detrimental impact on the lives of commuters.

It was also troubling, she said, that boats were leaving with "significant space" when there are queues of commuters waiting.

The MP said she wanted an urgent briefing from Horne, along with Waiheke local board chairwoman Cath Handley.

Kaye told the Herald she expected this meeting to happen within the week.

"These issues come on the back of the freight services being discontinued which has had in some cases a catastrophic impact on small businesses," Kaye added.

Explore pulled its services in 2016, leaving Fullers as the sole ferry provider for Waiheke. Fullers halved its winter sailings this season.

Fullers chief escutive Mike Horne. Photo / File
Fullers chief escutive Mike Horne. Photo / File

Horne said he was concerned about the level of frustration of some of its customers.

"There's certainly a level of angst that's building with our staff, and my priority is making sure that I'm looking after those customers but certainly, my staff and wellbeing of the crew," he told Newstalk ZB.

Horne said with the winter timetable, sometimes people couldn't get on board at the sailing time they wanted.

He said the issue of frustrated commuters turning against staff was not unique to Fullers ferry, but cuts across all public transport including trains and buses.

Horne insisted the issue of missing boats was a rare occurrence, and overloading happened usually only during peak weekend sailings.

"This weekend there were two trips which we would call overloaded ... so the boat went and the people who got left behind got on the next boat which was in half an hour's time," he said.

Horne said having to wait was the thing that wound up the commuters to the point where they were quite angry.

He denied it was a problem on weekdays, and said since the winter timetable came into operation, its services had been running on "99 per cent reliability".

But Handley said she was increasingly fielding complaints from island residents, and described the hostility on board ferries as "the worst it's been in 20 years".

She said the issue was caused by several factors, including the reduced sailings, a number of recent breakdowns and the size of boats.