Magnitude 6.1 earthquake strikes off east coast

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck off the North Island's east coast.

The quake hit at 7:37pm on Monday 120km east of Te Araroa and had a depth of 33km, GeoNet says.

Thousands of people have reported to feel the jolt, with the majority saying it felt weak or light and some saying it was moderate.

Social media users took to Twitter after the earthquake hit.

"Defo felt that! Long and rolling here in Whakatane," one person says.

"Felt it, but surprised it was a 6.2. Hope that's it for the night," another says.

"Oh hi there #eqnz, thought you could just do a mini jolt and just get away with it," a third says.

This earthquake comes less than two hours after a magnitude 3.2 jolt hit Christchurch. The majority of people who reported feeling the quake said it was weak to light.