Pic: Project Jonah New Zealand
A mass environmental effort is unfolding across the ditch this morning, after locals at the top of the South Island woke to find 400+ whales stranded on the beach.
Sadly, authorities have confirmed about 70% have already died.
They've put out an urgent call for volunteers to keep the whales cool until high tide (8.30am AEDT).
The real worry, now, is for the surviving whales.
"With that number [already] dead you can assume that the others are in pretty poor nick as well," says Andrew Lamason from the Department of Conservation.
Written by: Claire Sherwood, twitter: @clairesherwood_