A pod of three rare Hector's dolphins has thrilled people on a boat in Golden Bay, swimming around the vessel.
A Golden Bay boatie captured footage of the pod swimming in front of the boat as well as underwater and provided the video to conservation organisation Forest & Bird anonymously.
The vision shows one dolphin swimming fast in front of the boat, followed by shots of it underwater before all three dolphins come into view in front of the vessel.
'Wow what an experience!" a man on the boat is heard saying.
Forest & Bird says the footage of the rare dolphins has locals worried the resident dolphins could be killed in set and trawl nets.
“Golden Bay Hector’s are much more important that we previously thought,” Forest & Bird marine specialist Anton van Helden said.
“These small populations with little or no protection from human impacts such as fishing nets need our attention.
"Little pods like these ones in Golden Bay could be genetic 'stepping stone' groups between larger populations, like those on the east and west of the South Island," he said.
A pod of Hector's was killed last year in a set net near Bank’s Peninsula, and 200 fluttering shearwaters were reportedly found in a single set net in Auckland earlier this year.