Whanganui's first baby of the year was born at 8.50am yesterday in the Whanganui Hospital maternity ward - a healthy boy weighing in at 3.49kg (7lb 11oz).

Andre Mareikura is a first baby for mum Kiana Mareikura and she was overjoyed at her new arrival - despite feeling tired after a nine-hour labour.

There were several generations of whanau present to welcome little Andre - his great-grandmother Lee Apatu had made the journey from Napier to welcome her latest great-grandchild, while grandparents Marcia Apatu and Richard Mareikura were also there for the birth.

Mr Mareikura did not get to be a passive observer at the arrival of his grandson. "His koru was the one who caught him," said Ms Mareikura.


Maternity ward staff said they were expecting another baby to arrive before the day was over but, as of 5pm yesterday, Andre was the only baby born at the hospital on New Year's Day.

Although a bit reluctant at first to be photographed with her new son, Ms Mareikura said it would be good to show Andre the photo in the future and tell him he was Whanganui's first baby of 2016.