Beached sperm whale dies in Hawke's Bay

  • 30/12/2017
Beached sperm whale dies in Hawke's Bay
Photo credit: Todd Murphy / Project Jonah New Zealand

Onlookers hoping to get a peek at the remains of an 18-metre whale washed up in Hawke's Bay are being asked to show restraint.

The large sperm whale washed up at Mahia Beach on Friday night and died from natural causes about 8am on Saturday, Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger Jamie Quirk said.

He said while whales were known to wash up in the area once every five years or so, the size of the animal made it peculiar and had attracted dozens to see the carcass.

"What we're asking is if you are going to come down to see this incredible natural phenomenon, to do it with common sense and dignity," he said.

The whale's remains - currently about 50m from the shoreline - would be brought onto land on Sunday, and the jaw and teeth would be removed by local iwi before a burial in the nearby dunes.

Meanwhile, a group of holidaymakers rescued an orca stuck in the shallows at Papamoa Beach, near Tauranga on Saturday morning.

It beached itself while chasing stingrays and their rescue effort was caught on video.

NZN / Newshub.