Fifteen whales dead after mass stranding

Wellington, Jan 24 NZPA - Fifteen pilot whales have died after a mass stranding at Port Levy on the Banks Peninsula.

A large group of whales were reported stranded on the beach about 6.30am.

The Department of Conservation and volunteers from marine group Project Jonah returned six to the water and another 50 followed, Radio New Zealand reported.

The dead whales were likely to be buried on the beach.