More would likely need to be killed on Sunday, he said.
A volunteer pours water on pilot whales at Farewell Spit on Saturday.
This was one moving moment.
Volunteers try to guide some stranded pilot whales back out to sea.
Volunteers trying to save a whale in danger.
Lamason said one option was to tether them to stakes in the shallow tidal waters and let them decompose. "The refloat has been partially successful with around 50 whales out swimming in the bay".
The tide is rising, slowly covering the whales in more water.
She has now found a mother whale and is staying by her side.
DOC would like to acknowledge the unbelievable work done by Project Jonah and volunteers. There will be people who will argue that it's natural.
The Department of Conservation says it hopes this original group of about 200 whales are now out at sea.
In 1918, 1000 whales stranded on the Chatham Islands off New Zealand's east coast, while another 450 washed ashore in Auckland in 1985, according to a department of conservation news release. They succeeded, but then it rolled back onto its side.
He said at least one of the whales had marks on it consistent with being chewed by a shark, which could have happened while it was stranded in the shallows.
"There are 240 at the last count stranded whales between Pyponga and Pakawau and they're stranded in clusters of the sand". Recently, Care2′s Alicia Graef brought us the tragic story of a Cuvier's beaked whale that continually tried to beach itself and eventually died.
We are not able to successfully refloat stranded whales in every case.
With pilot whales, an injury to just one of them could spell trouble for the entire pod. There is no requirement for more volunteers at this point, but a further call will be made if the whales re-strand.
Sonar from the planet's 51,000 strong merchant ship fleet may be interfering whales' natural navigation, causing them to beach accidentally.
At high-tide at 10.30am the 100 remaining whales were successfully re floated, but were now milling around the bay just off-shore, said Lamason, who was on the scene.
"Knowing that coming down has done something is a good feeling", she said.
Each time a whale survives a stranding they become steadily weaker.
"They had a bunch of stingrays with the new whales".
This could mean that these whales may again restrand.
Volunteer Imogen Harris, 11, said they had just been waiting anxiously all day.
Around 20 people are now working to keep the whales wet using buckets and cloths.
Our reporter Emily Cooper explained that hundreds on the ground this morning slept in cars and tents, to be close to the rescue mission.
Volunteers are "cautiously optimistic", as there have been no more strandings today.
People wanting to volunteer should check in around 11am to see if the whales have beached.
"It is cold, it's wet and some of us have been in and out of the water for nine hours now". They, and other large members of the dolphin family, which includes Killer Whales (Orcas) are called Blackfish.