Strong earthquake strikes New Zealand

A strong earthquake has rattled residents across the country, being felt in Wellington and Christchurch.

According to GeoNet, the 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck 25km south-west of Taumarunui.

It was at a depth of 207km, which is reasonably deep, but still caused moderate shaking at the surface.

More than 15,000 people reported feeling the earthquake.

There is no risk of a tsunami.

These live updates have now ended.

7.26pm - One furry friend made into Newshub Live at 6 tonight.

7.14pm - One Kiwi teacher has shared how much the 'drop, cover, hold' method is part of the average schoolkids' psyche now.

Looks like the teachers might need a bit of additional training, though.

6.56pm - More reports of the terror of the quake from those in Hawke's Bay.

6.38pm - Rail services in Wellington remain behind schedule, thanks to a precautionary delay caused by the quake.

5.57pm - Newshub reporter Emma Jolliff's dog warned her about the quake.

5.45pm - A Wellington resident who was on the sixth floor of an office building told Newshub "it was quite scary, a good one, we are still alive though".

"We were on the sixth floor of the building and it was rocking."

Another Wellingtonian on the 14th floor said the building shook for a long time. 

5.39pm - A Hastings resident told Newshub the first impression was a hard jolt. "We have been through a number of earthquakes it was quite a tense one."

Another said "It was quite severe, we got under our desks as we have been told to, the drop, cover, hold." 

5:20pm - People in Taumarunui - 25km from the epicentre - felt nothing.

5:01pm - KiwiRail has temporarily closed a section of the North Island Main Trunk line between Mangaweka and Te Kuiti. Inspections of the line are taking place following this afternoon's earthquake.

Services on the Marton-New Plymouth Line (MNPL) will travel at a restricted speed while assessments are made.

4:56pm - Even animals know how to drop, cover and hold 

4:51pm - Christchurch residents felt the quake but weren't too rattled given the large earthquakes that have struck the city in previous years.

"We haven't had any really good ones for a while," Bob Carters told Newshub. 

"Bit of a rocking I was in a cafe sitting there, felt a little bit of a shake. I didn't think it was that big to be honest," Isaac Ellery says.

"You're getting ready incase it's a really big one, getting under the desk all that...but didn't have too this time."

4:38pm - A Wellington update 

4:24pm - Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi says there has been no reports of damage at this stage. 

"We know after a decent shake there is a decent chance for aftershocks. Be aware, people might be a little nervy."

Civil Defence staff are on the ground across the country. There is no tsunami threat for New Zealand.

Mr Faafoi is advising people to keep and eye out on their family, friends and colleagues. 

4:21pm - Watch the moment the quake struck New Zealand's Parliament 

National list MP Alfred Ngaro was addressing the House at the time, and you can see the camera trembling at the moment the earthquake struck.

4:12pm - This from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 

4:07pm - Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi will hold a press conference regarding the earthquake shortly. 

4:03pm - This from National Party leader Simon Bridges

4:00pm - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are currently visiting New Zealand are safe following the quake. 

Prince Harry and Megan Markle were in Auckland at the charity Pillars when it struck. 

3:57pm - Civil Defence says there is no tsunami threat to New Zealand and is advising people to drop, cover and hold during any aftershocks. 

3:52pm - Children at Paraparaumu College in Kapiti have been fimed dropping under their desks during the earthquake.   

3:40pm - Many people have document their experience of the quake on social media.

3:38pm - Parliament was suspended following the quake but has since resumed. Members are being called back to the debating chamber.

Deputy speaker Anne Tolley was sitting in the chair during debate on a Government Bill, and made the call to suspend Parliament.