A magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck 30km northwest of Levin at 2.04pm, according to GeoNet.
The quake struck at a depth of 34km.
"A bit of a jolt for the lower North Island this afternoon," GeoNet tweeted.
According to GeoNet it was reported as felt by 4190 users, as far north as Auckland and as far south as Invercargill. Most reported it as "light" or "weak".
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Six respondents said it was "extreme", two "severe", 16 "strong" and 269 called it "moderate".