A strong, deep 6.2-magnitude earthquake that hit 20 km south of Taumarunui has been felt around the country.
The earthquake was centered 20 km south of Taumaranui. Photo: GeoNet
GeoNet has reported the quake was a magnitude 6.2, although it was centered at a depth of 207km.
Civil Defence said there was no tsunami threat from the shake.
Minister Kris Fa'afoi said his staff are in touch with the Manawatu civil defence.
He is urging caution as there could be aftershocks.
Fire and Emergency said there were no reports of damage.
More than 15,000 people have already reported feeling the quake on GeoNet.
So maybe we should be putting Jesus back into the parliamentary prayer... #eqnz— Sam Sachdeva (@SamSachdevaNZ) October 30, 2018
That was a very widely felt earthquake. We hope you are all okay. More information soon. #eqnz— GeoNet (@geonet) October 30, 2018
That seemed to go on forever! First one for me on the 15th floor of Bowen House. #eqnz— Deborah Russell MP (@BeeFaerie) October 30, 2018
Parliament was suspended after the quake, although MPs have now returned.
Deputy speaker Anne Tolley was sitting in the chair during debate on a Government Bill, and made the call to suspend Parliament.
The video below shows the moment the earthquake hit Parliament (around 2.30 in).
"I never thought I'd have to do that, suspend the House until we find out what's happened," she said.
"There were public in the galleries and people need to just make sure their staff are okay. We're in the safest building probably in the country - but just to make sure and get some advice."
A Taumarunui local said the earthquake made the second storey of his home sway from side to side.
Adrian Doyle said that while the shaking wasn't very strong - it lasted a long time.
"I'm on the second storey of my house and it was definitely swaying from side-to-side," he said.
"I hopped under the desk and then realised that wasn't the most prudent placed to be because it's not a very strong desk, so hopped in the door frame and waited it out."
Mr Doyle said he doesn't expect there will much damage in the center town
Lyn Neeson, a farmer south west of Taumarunui, said she felt the quake for about two minutes.
She said the quake rumbled but didn't cause any shaking.
"I watched the clock 'cause I thought this was going on for a while and I was trying to remember was it one minute or two minutes before you were supposed to get gone and so it went on for nearly two minutes."
"It didn't get any worse so that is why I didn't move but it was just rumbling, rumbling."
"I was looking around and there wasn't much movement. I have a glass table and the flowers on it were shaking."
"I looked over and there was a couple of cards on a desk and they were just moving but nothing fell off."
Ms Neeson said her power and the internet went off.
"The power came back on pretty shortly afterwards, but I am still struggling to get my internet back on because it's satellite and you have to reset it."