Fullers ferry service says it could listen better after hundreds of commuters were left stranded on Waiheke Island yesterday due to a mechanical fault.

The company has responded to the public fury saying they have heard loud and strong that some of its customers were unhappy with its services.

"This really concerns us.

"We do work within a natural environment, so there are some things beyond our control, like fog, but we do our very best to adapt when these arise," Mike Horne, Fullers CEO said.


Fullers travel alerts showed that sailings were cancelled from 6am to 8am yesterday, with around 400 commuters left queuing.

The ferry company told RNZ the cancellation was due to defective fire equipment that was a health and safety risk and did not comply with sailing regulations.

It says an "immediate review" of its operations has been launched and included looking at staffing levels, scheduling and prioritising better customer communication on the wharves, which all underpin maintaining stringent safety procedures.

An open forum for the community to voice their concerns will take place next Sunday, June 9, at 1.30pm.

A location is yet to be confirmed but will be chaired by former Waitakere Mayor Sir Bob Harvey.

Fullers has invited a panel of Auckland leaders and Waiheke stakeholders to be part of that conversation.

Horne said it was vital to work with local government, which owned and controlled the infrastructure on which the company relied to deliver all ferry services.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to brief Mayor Phil Goff yesterday, and Hon Nikki Kaye recently, to discuss our shared concerns for an improved ferry network.


"We will update our customers and stakeholders with progress."

Fullers says it has recently invested a further $13 million in purchasing two vessels which will operate the Waiheke and Devonport routes from August 2019.

"We have committed to the research and design of full-electric carbon-fibre ferries, designed and built in New Zealand, with the aim of introducing them by 2021," Horne said.

Currently Auckland Transport can penalise rail and bus companies that fail to deliver on their contracts, but Fullers' Waiheke and Devonport routes have no such rules.

Twyford announced last week he would be reviewing the current model.