Crew from the Air Force Orion spotted the men waving from their five-metre wooden fishing boat as it drifted about 550 kilometres west of Tarawa.
The New Zealand Defence Force reports that the men, aged from 34 to 61, appear to be in good health.
They were found about an hour after the Orion began its second day of searching this morning.
Air Commodore Darryn Webb says the Orion will drop emergency supplies of food and water, along with a radio.
Ships in the area are being asked to pick the fishermen up.