The earthquake hit at a depth of 150km, 30km west, Taupo and was felt throughout Hawkes Bay, Blenheim, Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson.
According to media reports, the quake was largest in a decade to strike near Taupo. However no volcanic activity was reported near Lake Taupo.
According to Phil Parker, the district council emergency manager, Taupo, the motion of the quake lasted for about 30 seconds and there were no reports of causalities.
Brain Ferris, GNS scientist said that because the quake was deep, the shock waves moved easily upwards and hence no movement was felt.
Slight damage has been reported from Wellington, which is yet to be confirmed.
"It was relatively short but nonetheless quite violent compared to all the other earthquakes I've felt in this building," said private secretary, attorney General, Brian Charmley.
Meanwhile a earthquake of 4.4 magnitude hit Melbourne, Australia today.