A 4.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded well off the coast of Northland on Monday night, but nobody in the region would have felt the earth move from the seismic activity, GeoNet Science says.
The quake happened about 1100km northeast of Whangarei just after 10.30pm on Monday at a depth of about 4km, GeoNet seismologist Mark Chadwick said.
Mr Chadwick said the quake would "definitely" have caused shaking at its source, but none would have been felt in Northland as it was so far away.
"It was closer to the Kermadec Islands," he said.
The quake was recorded as being off Whangarei as that was the nearest city.
Northland, along with South Otago, has the lowest earthquake risk in New Zealand. Earthquakes are generally small in magnitude and seldom felt.
No active faults are mapped within the Northland region and the whole Northland peninsula has been generally regarded as tectonically stable.
Since 1960, there have been eight earthquakes felt in Northland with a magnitude greater than 3.5.
The most recent earthquake activity in Northland was measured near Takou Bay in September 2006, with the largest of the small swarm of earthquakes measuring 3.4 in magnitude and felt by residents in Kerikeri and Russell.