A large whale has been spotted floating in Raglan Harbour.

Department of Conservation Waikato operations manager Ray Scrimgeour said DOC believes it to be a sperm whale.

"We believe it's a mature sperm whale, which is swimming on its own at the moment.

"It is responding to the outgoing tide and making its way toward the Raglan Harbour entrance," he said

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DOC is monortoring its progress and is asking for the public to keep their distance from the whale.

"We are monitoring the whale as it makes its own progress out to the sea.

"We (DOC) are keeping our distance and we ask that the public also keep well away from the whale," Scrimgeour said.

Arne Kaminsky saw the whale earlier this afternoon and was worried for its safety, "the whale was most of the time floating".

Kaminsky said people showed concern for the whale, contacting a vet and DOC for help. There are concerns it might beach itself.

Last month, the NZ Army pitched in to save a stranded orca off a Marlborough beach after it became stuck.