Hundreds of people moved to higher ground after a tsunami warning over the severe 7.1 earthquake off the east coast of the North Island.
Here's what you need to know.
The earthquake struck at 2.27am off the North Island's east coast, 105km east of Te Araroa at a depth of 90km. It was initially recorded as a 7.3 earthquake.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) initially issued a tsunami warning for New Zealand's coastal areas and Civil Defence told people near the coast who felt a long or strong quake to move immediately to the nearest high ground. Shortly after 5am, NEMA said there was no longer a threat to land areas and said people who had evacuated could return home, and later cancelled the warning.
The quake was widely felt across the North Island and parts of the South Island and more than 52,000 people reported to GeoNet they had felt it.
There have been more than a dozen aftershocks, the largest a 5.4 tremor shortly after 4am, all in the same area.
Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz said there had been no immediate reports of buildings being damaged by the quake but more will be known later in the day.
Officials earlier confirmed the quake had created a tsunami and the first waves were detected on East Cape at about 3.15am.
They had warned of strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges near the shore were expected in the East Coast of the North Island from Port Charles to Cape Runaway including Tauranga, Whakatāne and Opotiki, and from Tolaga Bay to Mahia including Gisborne, and Great Barrier Island, and the Chatham Islands.
TSUNAMI WARNING: Listen to local civil defence authorities and follow any evacuation instructions. Coastal inundation (flooding of land areas) is expected in areas under Land and Marine threat. See attached map for affected areas. More info at https://t.co/ccVFYR8001 pic.twitter.com/uVlE3MnPCK— National Emergency Management Agency (@NZcivildefence) March 4, 2021
Read the official National Emergency Management Agency updates here