A warning is in place for coastal areas along a section of Northland's east coast for strong, unusual currents and unpredictable surges after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake near the Kermadec Islands at 6.41am.
Acting director of the National Emergency Management Agency, Roger Ball, said there was a very specific area between the Bay of Islands and Whangārei where people should stay out of the water and off beaches.
"There is not a threat to land, there is no need for evacuations," he told Breakfast.
Ball said potential surges would take some time to get to New Zealand because the quake struck so far from the coast. No mobile alert would be issued because there was no threat to life on the land away from the shore, Ball said.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said strong currents and surges can injure and drown people, and present a danger to swimmers, surfers, people fishing, small boats and anyone in or near the water close to shore.
“People in or near the sea in the following areas should move out of the water, off beaches and shore areas and away from harbours, rivers and estuaries, NEMA said.
The quake near the Kermadecs comes after a severe 7.1 magnitude earthquake off the east coast of the North Island (100km east of Te Araroa) which was felt by thousands of people around New Zealand. All warning tsunami and coastal warnings for this earlier quake have been lifted.