Two green sea turtles, Oscar and Kiwa, have been released into the ocean after being rescued from 90 Mile Beach almost two years ago.
The duo were released yesterday off the coast of Tutukaka, in Northland, where they splashed off to join an offshoot of the Australian Eastern Current.
Oscar, known for his happy nature and huge appetite, was found on the beach in July 2016. He was cold, underweight and suffering from infected fractures on his flippers.
Kiwa was also suffering from dehydration and had a severe eye infection when she was found.
The turtles were nurtured back to health at Sea Life, Kelly Tarlton's Turtle Rehabilitation centre, where they had together gained 15kg since arriving.
Clarke Gayford, the partner of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and host of the Fish of the Day television series, helped to release the turtles and tweeted about the experience afterwards: "Perfect day indeed to release these rehabed turtles".
Kelly Tarlton's curator Andrew Christie said although it was sad to see the turtles go, it was rewarding seeing them swim off successfully.