A powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the Auckland Islands, an archipelago 465 kilometres south of the South Island at 05:47:53 UTC, United States Geological Survey said on Sunday.
The seismic activity was registered at a depth of 10 kilometres by the USGS. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, however, reports that the epicentre of the quake was determined to be at a 2 kilometre-depth.
No data of any injuries or damage have been reported so far.
The country is situated in a collision zone between the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, and earthquakes occur frequently. The region is part of the Pacific Ocean basin's "Ring of Fire", famous for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.