Areas at the south of the North Island and north of the South Island were this morning the centre of an earthquake felt across New Zealand.

Kerry Clark the CEO of Bowls New Zealand and Chairman of the 2016 World Bowls Championships organising committee has this morning reported that all the visitors, including teams and officials, that have already arrived for this months World Championships have been confirmed safe and well. The epicentre was about 200km north of Christchurch and fortunately, except for being a little shaken up, the city has been left unscathed.

"The four venues have already this morning had all buildings and greens inspected and there are no signs of any damage at all" said Clark. "From our point of view it is business as usual. We are all ready to go as planned on Tuesday 29 November".

Further updates will be communicated as information becomes available. A statement from the Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel regarding the continued ability of Christchurch to host this major international sporting event is also due within the next few hours.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Bowls New Zealand