South Taranaki Māori are concerned about an unprecedented number of young, male sperm whales stranding along the area’s coast.
The 13th whale found stranded on Ngati Ruanui Hapotiki hapū in less than two weeks was discovered last Friday at a remote location accessed on foot along the Waihi Beach coastline.
“It is highly unusual and there is concern about a young healthy male pod washing up in these numbers,” said Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“As it is the first in many of our lifetimes, the time is right to learn through this process, allowing traditions to continue with future generations and to understand more of what’s happening out there,” she said.
Ms Ngarewa-Packer said thanks to the support received from Ngati Wai and Nga Ruahine, Ngati Ruanui would work together caring for both the Tohora (whale) and each other.