Transport minister Phil Twyford expects to know within a week whether the Waiheke Island ferry service can be brought under the oversight of Auckland Transport.

It comes after ferry company Fullers reduced its winter services to the island earlier this year, resulting in long queues, lengthy delays and cancellations.

Commuters have described being left in the cold and rain because ferries were cancelled without warning, and about their children missing sports games on the mainland.

Frustrations reached boiling point in recent weeks, with passengers reportedly jostling crew members and "[holding] the gangway hostage" and preventing a ferry from departing with empty seats.

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Fullers ferry to Waiheke is the subject of frequent complaints from locals. File photo / Getty Images
Fullers ferry to Waiheke is the subject of frequent complaints from locals. File photo / Getty Images

The ferries to Waiheke and Devonport are the only parts of Auckland's public transport system that do not have oversight from council-controlled Auckland Transport.

The ferries were made exempt from the public transport operating model that was put in place by former transport minister Steven Joyce - reportedly after lobbying from Fullers.

Last week Auckland councillor Chris Darby launched a petition aiming to remove that exemption and "bring Fullers into line". The petition has more than 2700 signatures.

Twyford said both Auckland Transport and Mayor Phil Goff have written to him, asking that the exemption be reviewed and lifted.

Twyford said he was seeking advice on the matter.

"There's a statutory process that has to be gone through, and NZTA are responsible for that. I've referred the correspondence to them and asked for advice on the next steps."

He was expecting that advice within the next week, he said.