The Reserve Bank has lifted the official cash rate (OCR) by 25 basis points to 1 per cent.
In his first Monetary Policy Statement for the year Governor Adrian Orr indicated further rate hikes were coming.
"The [Monetary Policy] Committee agreed that further removal of monetary policy stimulus is expected over time given the medium-term outlook for growth and employment, and the upside risks to inflation," he said.
The Reserve Bank is now forecasting the OCR to peak above 3.25 per cent by 2024. In its November statement it had forecast a peak of 2.5 per cent.
"The RBNZ's forecasts were hawkish," said ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley.
"The Statement showed a need to lean much harder against inflation than in the November Statement, and with some added concern expressed about the risk of high inflation becoming embedded."
The Committee also agreed to commence the gradual reduction of the Reserve Bank's bond holdings under the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme - through both bond maturities and managed sales.
Financial markets had put odds of about 20 per cent on the RBNZ delivering a double hike of 50 basis points.
In the end it appears to have been a close run thing.
"When deciding whether to move the OCR up by 25 or 50 basis points, many members saw this as a finely balanced decision," Orr said in the statement.
"When considering the case for a 50 basis point increase, the Committee noted the high starting point for inflation and the drift upwards in measures of inflation expectations."
But when considering the case for a 25 basis point increase, members noted that interest rates had already increased significantly late last year, and were expected to continue rising as the OCR is progressively increased.
They also noted that conditional on the outlook, the OCR was expected to peak at a higher level than assumed at the November statement.
In addition, sales of the Bank's LSAP bond holdings could put some upward pressure on longer-term interest rates.
The New Zealand dollar firmed to US67.55c compared with US67.38c just before the 2pm release of the monetary policy statement, while local bond yields were barely changed.
The Committee said global inflation was expected to peak during 2022 and then moderate, as supply disruptions were gradually resolved.
"However, global inflation is currently higher, and expected to ease more gradually than anticipated in the November Statement."
Hamish Pepper, fixed income and currency strategist at Harbour Asset Management, said the fact that the hike could easily have been 50 basis points would have come as a surprise to market.
"It is significant and the fact that they are not ruling out 50 basis point increases going forward is part of that surprise," he said.
Pepper said the rise in the terminal cash rate - where the OCR is expected to peak - to above 3.25 per cent from a previously advised 2.5 per cent - was also a surprise for the market, which had priced in a terminal rate of 3 per cent.
"That's given it this hawkish tone," he said.