Earthquake strikes near Wellington

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake which struck near Wellington has been felt widely across central New Zealand.

The 51km deep quake struck at 8:51pm and was centred 10km southwest of Paraparaumu.

More than 10,000 people have reported feeling it on the GeoNet website, as far south as Dunedin and as far north as Auckland.

Many on Twitter say the earthquake felt stronger than a 4.8.

Miramar resident Gail told RadioLIVE's Mike Puru she was sitting watching TV when there was a large "bang".

"It was like a huge truck or a bus knocking into your house... It just came all of a sudden, there was just this bang and that was it," she said.

After the bang, she said it started to shake.

"The funny thing is none of the lights shook. It was really strange - normally in an earthquake the lights would shake and you would know, and it would be a rolling motion," Gail said.

"This time it was just like a huge bang and that was it."

Island Bay resident Jeanette told Newshub she was "quietly snoring on the couch" when it struck.

"This little rumble shook me up nicely," she said.