Even if the earthquake was not felt, there is a chance the resulting tsunami could still affect coastal areas.
The emergency agency tweeted: “TSUNAMI WARNING issued following Kermadecs earthquake.
“People near coast from the BAY OF ISLANDS to WHANGAREI, from MATATA to TOLAGA BAY, and GREAT BARRIER ISLAND must MOVE IMMEDIATELY to nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible.”
People affected by the tsunami warning have been urged not to return home until given the all-clear by New Zealand’s Civil Defence.
Fleeing locals have also been told to run, walk or cycle away from the affected danger zones to avoid being stuck in traffic.