The Department of Conservation says it is dealing with a mass whale stranding in the Far North, with 25 pilot whales dead and another 49 stranded along a beach at Spirits Bay.
DoC area manager for Kaitaia Jonathan Maxwell says staff are co-ordinating efforts to save the pod of whales about 90km north of the town on Wednesday.
Seventy-four whales are spread across 2km of the beach and another 50 mammals are just offshore.
Mr Maxwell says DoC staff and volunteers from the community are on their way to help, but the effort to save so many whales will be considerable.
He says as many volunteers as possible are needed, as staff will not be able to try refloating the whales until Thursday.
In August, about 60 whales stranded themselves on Karikari Beach in the Far North and most had to be buried.