Central New Zealand shaken by 5.4 earthquake

A late night shake was felt throughout much of the country yesterday.

The "moderate" intensity jolt, 50 kilometres north-west of Paraparaumu, had a magnitude of 5.4 and was 64 kilometres deep.

As at 1.12am, GeoNet received 26,500 felt reports from Christchurch to Auckland, making it the new record holder. The previous record was for the 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake with 15,840 felt reports. 

"This event was too small to cause a tsunami threat to New Zealand. Earthquakes in this region are fairly common with mechanisms likely associated with subduction tectonics," GeoNet said in a statement.

The quake at 11.45pm also followed a 4.7 magnitude earthquake in the same spot. The earlier jolt at 7.27pm was 57 kilometres deep.