A deep earthquake which struck several hundred kilometres north-east of New Zealand tonight was felt in much of the North Island

The quake at 7.39pm was centred 660km north-east of Auckland, 470km south of Raoul Island, at a depth of 410km. It had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter Scale.

GNS Science duty seismologist Mark Chadwick said the quake had been felt mildly from Opotiki to Wellington.

It had not been felt strongly and he did not expect there would be any damage.

"It is very deep and it is a long way away," he said.

The United States Geological Survey, which used a different technique for measuring magnitudes, recorded the quake as 5.3 on the Richter Scale.

GNS later downgraded the magnitude to 5.3, in line with that recorded by the United States Geological Survey.