A strong earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale rocked the east coast of New Zealand's north Island on late Monday, scientists said.
Police in the city of Hastings said they had received no early reports of injuries or major damage, although callers to a radio station reported broken windows and minor damage.
The earthquake struck 10 kilometres southwest of Hastings at 1125 GMT, earthquake monitoring agency GNS Science said.
The quake was focused at a depth of 30 kilometres and was likely to have been felt over a wide area, causing some damage, GNS Science said.
New Zealand's deadliest earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8, devastated Hastings and the nearby city of Napier in 1931, killing at least 256 people.
New Zealand is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where continental plates grind against each other, causing earthquakes and volcanic activity.