Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed what went through her mind as an earthquake shook Wellington as she gave a live TV interview from the Beehive.

"Are you serious?" was the thought on Ardern's mind as she kept her cool and continued the TV interview while the Beehive wobbled.

She revealed what she was thinking later on in the afternoon during the Cabinet's press conference on the increase of public gatherings to 100 people, from noon this Friday, May 29.

The Prime Minister's reaction has been turned into a meme and is doing the rounds on social media, both in New Zealand and overseas, with people applauding her ability to stay focused during the event.

Advertisement

"We're just having a bit of an earthquake here," said the PM to Newshub host Ryan Bridge as the screen began to shake.

"Quite a decent shake here," she continued as the Covid-themed backdrops quivered behind her.

"The Beehive moves a little more than most," she quipped.

Ardern appeared unfazed by the drama, agreeing to continue the interview.

Jacinda Ardern continued her live TV interview as the earthquake hit. Photo / Newshub
Jacinda Ardern continued her live TV interview as the earthquake hit. Photo / Newshub

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was felt as far north as Gisborne and near the bottom of the South Island, according to Geonet.

Newstalk ZB's Adam Cooper said it was a "very big quake".

"A rattler, went on for a long time," he said.

Geonet has revised the quake's depth to 37km, 30km northwest of Levin. Originally it said it was a 5.9 magnitude quake, and later revised that to 5.8.

Advertisement

It struck at 7.53am.