The 6.2-magnitude was centred 125 km west of Tuatapere and registered at a depth of 25 km at 1.07 a.m. on Tuesday. No damages or casualties were reported, according to Xinhua.
By about 7 a.m., New Zealand government geological agency GNS Science had received 175 reports from people who had felt the quake and the only effects noted had been crockery falling off shelves. It said there was no chance of a tsunami developing from the tremor.
A 7.8-magnitude quake occurred in the same region on July 15, 2009. That quake, in Dusky Sound, was New Zealand's largest for nearly 80 years.
GNS duty seismologist Caroline Little said that the 2009 quake had a thousand times more energy than Tuesday's tremor, adding that earthquakes are common in the region, Radio New Zealand reported.