A pod of pilot whales stranded near Golden Bay is not likely to survive.
The Conservation Department says 11 of a pod of 28 discovered stranded on Farewell Spit on Thursday morning died within an hour.
A DoC spokesperson, Hans Stoffregen, says 17 remained alive but were likely to be euthanased on Thursday afternoon, after local iwi and DoC staff met.
Mr Stoffregen says the next high tide was at midnight, when it would be too dangerous for staff to attempt to rescue the whales.
The following high tide, at lunchtime on Friday, would be too long to leave the whales.
He says there was a very slim chance the whales would be able to survive until then.