A local seal volunteer is pleading for people to keep their distance and let the marine mammal rest after a busy season of pup deaths.
Nathan Pettigrew, who works as a volunteer for the Department of Conservation, wrote a heartful post a few weekends ago on a local noticeboard after burying three dead pups in just two days.
All three were resting around the base of Mauao before they died.
Devastatingly, only a week before multiple seals had also died and needed to be buried.
He described the season as a "busy" one with a high number of seal pup deaths.
When locals venture out and go for a walk in the area, they must be respectful of all nature and especially seal pups, he said in the post.
"Mature seals can appear to be quite 'chilled' and 'sluggish' but don't be complacent around them."
Pettigrew said he saw a woman walk her child between a fully grown bull seal and the ocean dangerously close, which was highly unsafe.
"These big males can weigh as much as 150kg and can be very defensive, especially if surprised so give a wide berth."
He said parents should scan the area when with their children and warn them to keep away and their noise levels down around seals, especially as it may frighten the small pups.
"An adult seal may tolerate it but a seal pup, being extremely timid at times, will possibly panic and make for the ocean."
People should not try and get close to the pups, especially if they are resting on the rocks.
He said he saw something like this happen and the seal pup panicked, made a dash for the sea and hit a bunch of rocks on his way down.
"Where possible, nicely tell others in the area if you believe they are going to venture too close to the animal,"
"These seal pups, of which many die from starvation and exhaustion, do not need any help in being killed off because we simply dont give them the space they need to rest."
"They have it tough enough as it is, and I could do with a weekend off and not have to bury seals when I have some spare time. "
He said the last few weekends had been quieter, but a decent percentage of the seal pups who came onto the land to rest did die this season.
His number one tip was to stay back at least 20 metres and admire from afar.