People swimming at Tauranga and Mount Maunganui's beaches this Easter weekend are urged to be aware of the presence of great white sharks.
The Department of Conservation says regular sightings and encounters with great whites in the Tauranga area continue.
DoC marine technical adviser Clinton Duffy says people travelling to the beach for the long weekend need to be aware of the marine animals seen around our coastlines.
"When we're visiting the ocean, we need to be vigilant and aware of what's happening around us.
"Sharks can come close to the shoreline and if you are heading out on or into the water, you need to exercise caution."
DoC is advising people to swim where there are surf lifesaving patrols and avoid swimming in the main harbour channels and more than 50m from the shore. People should not swim or dive alone or burley from kayaks and jet skis when fishing.
The recent shark sightings in Tauranga does not suggest a change in their behaviour or a sudden population boom, Duffy says.
The message comes after a Waihī fisherman filmed what he believed to be a great white breaching off the coast of Bowentown, north of Tauranga, last month.
Josh Lonergan was fishing on a boat off the coast of Bowentown when he got an up-close look at the shark late last month.
He was less than 1km from Anzac Bay when he spotted the shark chasing a fish he was reeling in.
Shark scientist Riley Elliott has since told the Bay of Plenty Times he would not encourage swimming in that area, especially before proper research had been done on the growing number of sharks there.
"I personally wouldn't go swimming in the Bowentown area," he said.
"There's obviously a lot of great whites there and that's just out of pure respect for a predator."
In early January, Hamilton 19-year-old Kaelah Marlow died in a shark attack at Bowentown. It is understood she was dragged from the water alive after the attack and paramedics administered CPR on the beach to no avail.
There have been multiple sightings and captures of great white sharks in the area since.
The great white shark population is estimated to have been stable or in slight decline since the early 2000s and the species protected under the Wildlife Act 1953. It is illegal to hunt, kill or otherwise harm great white sharks.
Other species of shark protected in New Zealand include the basking shark, the oceanic whitetip, the small tooth sand tiger (deepwater nurse shark) and the whale shark.
Report details of sightings, captures or strandings to DoC email@example.com or to 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).