Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sent 2am text to Minister Kiri Allan checking she is 'doing her job'

If this morning's earthquake didn't wake the Emergency Management Minister up, a follow-up text from the Prime Minister may have.

"She sent me a text message to make sure I was going to be doing my job," Minister Kiri Allan told the media this afternoon.

After having a laugh, Jacinda Ardern shared that she did in fact "check-in" with the Minister for National Emergency Management "at 2.29am".  

It has been a long day for thousands of New Zealanders, who were woken to a violent 7.2 magnitude shake off the coast of Te Araroa at 2.30am this morning. 

According to GeoNet, nearly 53,000 Kiwis reported the initial shake, from as far north as Kaitaia to as far south as Invercargill, and even included a 'light' submission from the Chatham Islands.

Soon after, Civil Defence issued multiple Tsunami warnings which affected a lengthy stretch of the North Island.

As people packed up their cars, and headed inland or to higher ground, another two large tremors were recorded near the Kermadec Islands, 7.4 and 8.1 magnitudes in size. 

Videos began to emerge on social media of unusual whitewash in Tokomaru Bay near Gisborne, and powerful surges in the Bay of Islands. 

Despite the scare, spirits seemed to remain high in the community - with school students distributing food and water, neighbours meeting each other for the first time, and an impromptu kapa haka performance from Opotiki College students. 

Just before 4pm, the National Emergency Management Agency lifted all Tsunami warnings, signalling the end to a chaotic 14 hours. 

Minister Allan passed on a message of thanks to everyone "who did the right thing". 

"I want to thank the men and women nationwide who give their service every time there is an incident of such gravity and who looked after our communities," she said.

Allan says people are advised to "remain vigilant" and "exercise prudent judgement" this evening, and over the weekend.