A group of pilot whales that stranded again near Opotiki in eastern Bay of Plenty this morning have died.
About 60 whales came ashore near Ohiwa Harbour on Tuesday afternoon.
Department of Conservation staff and Project Jonah volunteers managed to get over a dozen whales back out into the Harbour yesterday, but 22 restranded this morning.
Peter Huggins from department said another rescue effort was launched, but they could not be saved.
"Had six that had died overnight - as the morning rolled on over that first hour or so another eight whales died so then a decision was made that given the animal welfare imperative we needed to euthenise the remaining eight whales."
As well as the welfare of the animals, DOC said, the developing weather conditions and the available options to refloat the mammals were taken into account.
Staff remain on standby and will be monitoring the situation in case any further groups of whales get into difficulty.