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More than 8000 people have reported feeling the quake, with most indicating it as light to weak in strength on Geonet.
It occurred one week after Christchurch was rocked by a magnitude 4 earthquake that triggered moderate shaking.
Geonet seismologist Jonathan Hanson told the Herald that while it was a little bigger than usual for the area, it wasn't a major concern.
"This was a little bit bigger than the normal seismicity in the area, but entirely in keeping with the type of event we'd expect.
"When there's an event there's always an increased probability of another one but we don't really expect anything other than that," he explained.
Five hundred people deemed the shaking to be moderate, meanwhile, 30 indicated the shaking as strong.
Herald Political Editor Audrey Young felt the earthquake from Parliament Buildings and described it as a short and relatively sharp jolt that lasted about half a second.
A woman from Stoke in Nelson felt it too, telling the Herald it was a "short but sharp jolt".
Another claimed to have felt the "quite sharp and short" jolt in Hawkes Bay.
Hason said scientists didn't believe it was related to the Kaikoura or Christchurch shakes and said it was similar a shake in 2015 around the same location.
"It's a reminder to stay prepared more than anything else," he concluded.