Earlier this year a whole lot of whales got stranded on Farewell Spit which is at the top of the South Island. 300 of them died but not without a lot of help trying to keep them alive by the local people.
The people tried to help the whales by keeping them wet with as much buckets,bottles,pots and bowls of water and anything that they could find that could hold more water to tip on the whales. They also covered them with wet cloths, towels and lava lava's. All of the whales were treated equally, with respect.
The 8 whales in the story that I read had all floated back out to sea the next morning. What a relief!