Police are currently responding to many calls in relation to the earthquake just after 12am this morning.
A number of aftershocks of a lesser magnitude have been experienced up and down the country. Police continue to remind members of the public to drop, cover and hold during any subsequent earthquake.
111 services are running and Police ask anyone experiencing an emergency to call if necessary.
If people are on the street, they should be careful when standing near buildings due to any falling debris, particularly in those with damage.
We also ask they do not stand in the middle of roads as they may cause a hazard for traffic.
There is a tsunami warning to the east coast of the North and South Islands. Police advise the public in these areas to get to higher ground or go as far inland as possible.
Wellington residents should avoid the beaches and waterways.
Follow the advice of civil defence staff and emergency services. Listen to the radio for up-to-date information and safety advice.
Issued by Police Media Centre.