An severe 6.5 magnitude earthquake has rumbled central New Zealand this evening.

LATEST: An earthquake has rumbled central New Zealand this morning.

GeoNet recorded the quake as a 5.7 magnitude, 30km east of Seddon at a depth of 8km at 9.06am.

It was felt strongly around the Wellington region.

It was followed by a 3.4 magnitude aftershock at a depth of 20km.

Newstalk ZB's chief reporter in Wellington Kim Savage felt the quake.

"It initially started out quite small and then the shaking became more intense over the course of about 30 seconds or so," she told the station. "Enough that we all immediately jumped under the desk and braced ourselves but it was over in about 30 seconds."

Local teacher Katherine says it was strong enough to dislodge a few things in her house.

"I was sitting in my seat with my coffee and the house started shaking a little bit and then the shaking got a bit bigger and then stuff fell off the book shelf and the cat fell off the sofa."

Many Wellingtonians took to Twitter saying they got under their desks, or got under a doorframe.

Some in the upper floors of high-rise office buildings reported feeling their buildings sway.

The quake was felt in Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Manawatu and Taranaki.

Nelson resident Tim Cross says he was sitting in his lounge room before the big rumble came through.

"I could feel the concrete shaking as well, all the wine glasses were chattering against each other. Nothing broke but there was definitely a large jolt."

Blenheim police have had no reports of any damage so far - despite being just 50 kilometres away from the epicentre.

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