It is not clear why the whales continue to arrive on the beach.
According to the BBC, the environmental group Project Johan has a plane flying over the bay to keep track of the movements of the whales that have been successfully refloated.
"It could be as simple as interference with their navigation systems, but that's, once again, theoretical", DOC spokesman Herb Christophers told Radio New Zealand.
No whales were stranded when Doc inspected the beach this morning and staff were meeting this morning to figure out how to dispose of the 300 to 350 decomposing carcasses.
On Thursday evening, a conservation worker spotted that about 400 whales had washed ashore.
Another idea was to build a fence around the carcasses to prevent them from being swept away and then letting them biodegrade on the shore.
Lamason said one option was to tether the carcasses to stakes or a boat in the shallow tidal waters and let them decompose.
"It's not going to be a fun job". The group said the larger pod and the 17 were a few kilometers off shore Sunday.
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Officials initially waited for the smoke to clear before allowing guests to return to their vehicles shortly after 7 p.m. The cause of the fire is now under investigation, but there is nothing to suggest foul play at this time.
They were part of the larger group of around 200 whales that were stranded Saturday, but the 17 re-stranded themselves after those whales were refloated.
This picture taken on February 11, 2017 shows a volunteer caring for a pilot whale during a mass stranding at Farewell Spit.
Pilot whales grow to about 25 feet and are common around New Zealand's waters. It has a long protruding coastline and gently sloping beaches that make it hard for whales to swim away once they get close.
Farewell Spit has been described as a whale trap.
The series of mass strandings are the largest on the New Zealand mainland since records began. "They've been singing songs to them, giving them specific names, treating them as kindred spirits".
About 1000 whales beached themselves on the Chatham Islands in 1918 and 450 near Auckland in 1985.