The aftermath of a 6.8 magnitude earthquake from the Kermadec Islands rippled through Hawke's Bay yesterday as GNS Science continued to monitor the activity.

Despite the Kermadec Islands being 1448km away, seismologist Dr Muriel Naguit said a number of aftershocks would continue for quite some time.

"We are still checking a number of felt reports, some range from as far as Canterbury, but most of the reports are coming from the North Island."

Read more: Cluster of small earthquakes shakes New Zealand as magnitude 6.8 quake rocks Kermadec Islands

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Naguit said although the latest shake was based in the Kermadec Islands, it always paid to be cautious and be prepared.

According to Hawke's Bay Civil Defence, the region is one of the most seismically active regions of New Zealand and in the 160 years since substantial written records began, several large and damaging earthquakes have occurred.

Hawke's Bay has not had a major earthquake since 1931, when a 7.8 magnitude quake killed 256 people and left thousands injured.

"There are always small events recorded in Hawke's Bay from time to time, but on this occasion, this latest event was based elsewhere, and the region and the rest of the country is just experiencing the aftermath."

Naguit said small quakes which occurred in the region meant that "something was happening but the magnitude was smaller."

"We cannot predict whether it will generate something bigger later, because you cannot predict earthquakes, all we can do is monitor the system and the nature at which we generate information as quick as possible so the public can be notified that the event happened."

Naguit said both the region and the rest of the country had experienced three after-shocks since the Kermadec shake, one within three minutes of the main event.

"The magnitudes of the aftershocks ranged between 4.9 to 5.4, but those were in the Kermadecs, pretty far away from New Zealand."

A number of "ghost quakes" had been recorded which typically appear on the GNS network after a large source earthquake.

Due to sensitive seismic equipment that picks up the various waves that earthquakes create, GNS can pick up waves, even if they are from a great distance.