Key Points:

Two whales have died after stranding on a beach at Poverty Bay.

The three-metre long pygmy sperm whale mother and her calf were seen in the shallows by passers-by at around 9.00am.

A DoC spokesman says the mother had died at that stage, and people on the beach tried to refloat the youngster.

DoC says a decision was made to put the young whale down, as it would not have survived on its own.

Both whales have been buried on the beach.