An earthquake which shook Hawke's Bay early yesterday morning was the latest in a rocky week.

The 4.2 earthquake which rocked the central North Island at 3.38am was located 5km north of Napier. Geonet said the quake was 12km deep and described as a moderate shake. People reported feeling the tremor widely throughout Hawke's Bay and across to Manawatu.

There have been 10 earthquakes registered by Geonet in areas around Hawke's Bay over the past three days, ranging from a magnitude 2.1 quake to yesterday's 4.2.

Napier was a hotbed of activity yesterday - the quake which was reported to have woken people at 3.38am yesterday was the first of six. All were located within 10km north, or northwest, of Napier.


GNS Science duty seismologist John Ristau said the area around Hawke's Bay was one of the more seismically active areas in New Zealand, so it was not unusual for there to be a number of earthquakes.

"It's been a little while since there's been a swarm of earthquakes this close to Napier. I'd say they're all related to one another."

The earthquakes registered on Monday were both in the early morning, and of weak regional intensity, with one located 30km east of Wairoa and the other 20km south of Dannevirke.

Another two earthquakes on Tuesday struck near Waipukarau. The first, at 4.40am, was 25km north of the town and a magnitude of 3 at a depth of 17km. The magnitude of the quake which hit just before 2pm was higher, at 3.3, and at a depth of 15km.

Mr Ristau said it was probably just a coincidence there had been other earthquakes around the region.