It was a giant squid, measuring about 25 feet long, discovered on the surface by Jack and Sharon Osikai.
The specimen looked reasonably fresh; it's arms and tentacles were intact, making this a rare find of one of the ocean's more elusive and mysterious denizens.
"It took us about an hour to pull it in," Jack Osikai, a Christchurch builder, told Stuff.com.nz.
Part of the mantle, or head, was missing and some wondered whether the giant squid had perished during a recent battle with another squid, or some other creature.
The squid was fragile, so it was towed to shore very slowly.
--Photo is courtesy of EMMA DANGERFIELD/Fairfax NZ