Local iwi, the Department of Conservation and Kaipara District council will work together to bury the whale that died after washing up on a Northland beach this morning.
The whale was found stranded and initially alive at Glinks Gully near Dargaville.
Francis Toko of Kaipara District Council told 1 NEWS preparations for the whale's burial will be made this afternoon.
Mr Toko shared the significance of the burial and caring for the whale, or tohorā, not only while it is alive but once it has died.
"We believe that we all have connections to our tohorā, to our whale," said Mr Toko.
"So with those connections and acknowledging the narratives and the stories handed down by our tūpuna, it is about acknowledging not just the animal that lay here, but the tūpuna connections, the wairua, the spiritual aspects and the energy that this animal, this tūpuna, once possesed while it was alive.
Iwi Te Roroa general manager Taoho Tane told 1 NEWS the whale was a baby. Because of that factor, they won't be following usual cultural processes and will instead bury the whale.
"We've had a meeting this morning with our science and research manager and the Department of Conservation and also with Francis and the council and the decision was because it's a juvenile we will bury it as it is rather than go through the cultural process," said Mr Tane.
DOC earlier said the animal was a humpback whale.
The stranding was called in to Fire and Emergency NZ's Dargaville station just after 7am.