The quake occurred 20km north-east of Turangi at 12:23pm.
"Bloody hell, that was a bang and a half!"
New Zealand and Greece have been chosen to trial Google's automated earthquake warnings.
There have been more than 200 reports on GeoNet of the quake.
A new study suggests there's a 75 percent chance of a major quake in the next 50 years.
A natural disaster expert says such a quake will cause avalanches, road closures and power cuts.
Researchers used to think the probability of a damaging quake in our lifetime was about one in three. Now it's more than double that.
Thousands of people have reported feeling the jolt.
It was a magnitude 3.2.