The epicenter was located about 57 kilometers south-south-west of the capital Wellington, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake struck at a depth of approximately 14 kilometers in the Cook Strait that separates the country's North and South islands.
Tremors and aftershocks were felt as far afield as New Plymouth, Hamilton and Christchurch, local media reported.
There are reports of some damage to buildings and power lines in Wellington.
Wellington airport was closed after the quake while the runways were checked for possible damage. - RT: 6.5M: Earthquake off NZ coast shatters windows, cuts power in capital
USGS: M6.5 - 46km ESE of Blenheim, New Zealand
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