An eight-year-old girl found in the Manukau Harbour was first heard calling for help by rescuers before being taken by hovercraft to an ambulance - but her father remains missing.
The search for the 52-year-old has been scaled back for the evening.
It will probably resume in the morning, pending conditions.
Police say the girl was in the water for several hours. She has been released from Middlemore Hospital.
A search was launched yesterday about 5pm after a member of the public found a small boat with no one in it and informed police.
The search area has so far been focused on a part of harbour near the Papakura Channel.
It is believed the pair were out fishing and it is not known whether they were wearing lifejackets or not.
The 12-foot aluminium runabout they were in has been found.
Coastguard Northern Region Operations Manager Daniel Pearce said searchers are "hopeful of a successful outcome" and warned those going out on boats to always be safe.
The girl was heard calling for help by rescuers, he said, before being taken by an Auckland Airport hovercraft to a waiting ambulance.
"Whenever you go out on the water, make sure you have a life jacket that fits - and make sure you wear it," said Mr Pearce.