Efforts are underway to keep alive a pod of pilot whales in the shallows off the Coromandel Peninsula.
The whales were spotted swimming in shallow, muddy water at Colville Bay.
About 15 of the pilot whales have gone back into deeper waters but at least 25 were still in the shallows.
Project Jonah members, Department of Conservation staff and local iwi helping to free the remaining whales.
A Project Jonah update on Facebook said those working on the rescue mission were biding their time until the next high tide due at 9pm.
Project Jonah general manager Darren Grover said rescuers have been tending to the whales all day.
“Keeping them cool and keeping them comfortable and giving healthy whales the opportunity to refloat this evening.”
He said no more people were needed to help the rescue effort, however food for the volunteers would be welcomed, as well as old sheets for helping in the rescue effort.