New Zealand's North Island hit by 6.5 magnitude quake
A LARGE earthquake has struck off the east coast of the North Island.
The magnitude-6.5 jolt hit at 11.33am at a depth of 31km and about 155km east of Te Araroa.
There have been no reports of damage, but workers in Rotorua were evacuated as a precaution.
A Te Waiariki Purea Trust staff member said its building in the Haupapa St was cleared.
The Ministry of Civil Defence said there was no tsunami threat to New Zealand.
Social media lit up after the event.
Hawkes Bay Today reporter Sam Hurley said on Twitter that he felt the "rather large" quake in Napier.
Betty Lowe of Whakatane said the quake was the "worst" she'd felt in a long time.
"[The] floor moved under me, vertical blinds really swayed, [it] went on for several minutes."
Further south, Geoff Tolley said: "I felt the earthquake in Wanganui as a gentle rocking which rattled plates in the cupboard. It seemed to continue for about a minute."
Briar and Hazel Elliot said they felt their car rocking while driving in Whangamata.
Earlier, GeoNet reported a 5.1 earthquake had also struck Hanmer Springs just after 11.30 this morning. However, this turned out to be a technical glitch.