A 4.4 magnitude earthquake has hit northwest of Wellington.

It hit at 11.59am and was 40km deep, and 20km north-west of Wellington.

More than 4080 people have told GeoNet that they have felt the earthquake.

Reports have come from as far away as Auckland, Canterbury, Central Otago and Southland.


One Twitter user said: "That was a hell of a jolt in Wellington #eqnz."

A police communications spokesperson said the earthquake built up slowly then had a big shake at the end.

"It gave us a real jolt."

"It was a weird one. It was really, really slow then did one big jolt then it was over in 15 - 20 seconds."

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ward administrator Kalala Filipo was sitting at her desk on the fourth floor where she felt the building wave from side to side. She said the quake was enough to rattle her pens but not serious enough to do any damage.

It was Filipo's second quake after moving to Wellington from Auckland a year ago so she found it "quite exciting".

"It gave me a fright... I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

"[My colleagues] are all just walking around and I'm thinking 'am I the only one excited because I'm not from here?'."


Porirua New World duty manager Garry Singh said they felt the quake but have had no damage in the supermarket.

"We felt it a little bit but everything was fine."

People hailing from Lower Hutt, Karori, Whitby and even Whangarei quickly took to social media to share their experience of the quake.

Ashley Smith posted she was surprised to see the earthquake classed as light.

"My bed was rocking enough that if it lasted longer, it would almost make it to the other side of the room."

Azaelia Mackereth said she felt the quake.

"I'm in Lower Hutt . . Sharp jolt and a bit of light rocking."

Kimber Jackson posted "Wow that shook me a bit".

Ruth Limā wished she had felt it.

"I'm still guttered I didn't feel it hahaha!!"

Both police and the fire service said they haven't had any calls asking for assistance yet.

A central fire communications spokeswoman said no calls had been received in relation to the quake.

And a Wellington based spokesman for the ambulance service said though he felt the shake, they had received no calls.