According to the New Zealand Herald, 63 pilot whales beached themselves at Colville Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula on Sunday. Department of Conservation workers and hundreds of volunteers managed to get around 2/3rds of them back out to sea, but the others died on the beach. These are being buried by Maori from a local iwi.
105 long-finned pilot whales died at Farewell Spit, which is in the north of the South Island. A tourist plane reported seeing them, but 2/3rd of them had already died by the time Department of Conservation people got there, and the others were in such a bad way that they had to be euthanised. Since it is part of a National park, these will be left to decompose.
Presumably local authorities are expecting an influx of Japanese tourists, or maybe their whaling fleet will be recalled from the Southern Ocean to take advantage of this unexpected bounty! All in the name of scientific research of course!
The full story and more photos are on the New Zealand Herald’s website.