Bad weather has stalled a search for a second whale entangled in fishing debris off the coast of Northland.
Department of Conservation personnel on Wednesday cut free a humpback whale tangled in fishing rope in Doubtless Bay.
Another humpback, with a plastic fishing buoy entangled near its mouth, was later spotted further south near Moturua Island in the Bay of Islands.
DoC says a rescue team is on stand-by in Paihia, waiting for another sighting of the whale.
Contrary to an earlier report, it has not yet been able to send out a spotter plane, because of poor weather conditions.
Tourist boats and a navy ship have been asked to keep a watch for the humpback.