'Sharp jolt' for central New Zealand as earthquake hits Cook Strait

A small earthquake has rattled central New Zealand tonight, with residents describing a "sharp jolt" as the quake hit around the Cook Strait.

Felt reports on GeoNet after a magnitude 3.7km earthquake hit around 25km south-west of Wellington. Source: GeoNet

The magnitude 3.7 earthquake struck around 25km south-west of Wellington, in the Cook Strait, at a depth of around 22km.

It hit at 8.32pm today and was categorised as "light" by GeoNet.

The shaking was felt by residents in the lower North Island, particularly in and around Wellington, and the upper South Island, around the Marlborough region.

One Marlborough Sounds resident described it as a "sharp jolt" to 1 NEWS.

More than 1600 people have reported feeling shaking on GeoNet, largely reporting weak or light shaking.