Papamoa local Joanne Burt and her family have a special friend, but it's unlikely they'll be inviting him over for dinner anytime soon.
That's because their special friend is actually a shark which they've spotted a number of times swimming in the shallows just off the shoreline near Motiti Reserve in Papamoa East.
Joanne thinks it's the same bronze whaler which a few locals have seen swimming in the area for a while now.
But this time around the shark was quite close, with Joanne estimating it was swimming at least five metres off-shore.
“When we see him we always call out ‘our friend's back again', and it's often when we're ready to go for a swim too. You'll spot him and think ‘oo, no I think I'll wait a bit',” she says with a laugh.
“He's got an area just out from our place where he circles around, and there must be a bit of foul ground or something as he feeds there quite regularly.”
But despite their numerous encounters, Joanne says she's yet to give the shark a name.
“I probably should give him a name. Maybe Jaws?”