List of earthquakes in New Zealand

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This is a list of earthquakes which have occurred in New Zealand. Only earthquakes with a Richter magnitude of 6.0 or greater are listed, unless they had a moderate impact. Aftershocks are not included, unless they were of great significance or contributed to a death toll, such as the M 6.3 2011 Christchurch earthquake or the M 7.3 aftershock to the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake.

Pre-19th century[edit]

Date Location Region Magnitude (ML) Magnitude (MW) Depth Latitude Longitude Fatalities Further information
1100 Alpine Fault South Island 7.6 - 8.3 [1]
1460 Wellington Region Wellington 8.0 8.0 25 km 41.39°S 174.80°E [2]
1610-20 Alpine Fault South Island 7.6 - 8.3 [1][3]
1717 Alpine Fault South Island 8.1 [1][3]

19th century[edit]

Please note that the given information for earthquakes before the year 1840 are only estimations. This is due to the fact that New Zealand wasn't a crown colony until the year 1840.

Date Location Region Magnitude (ML) Magnitude (MW) Depth Latitude Longitude Fatalities Further information
1815 New Plymouth Taranaki 7.0 [4] 25 km 38.99°S 174.00°E
1817 Fiordland South Island 7.0 [5] 25 km 45.99°S 167.00°E
1826 Fiordland South Island 8.0 [6] 8.0 25 km 44.99°S 167.00°E
1835 South Auckland Auckland 7.0 [7] 25 km 36.99°S 175.00°E
1838 Waitotara Forest Manawatu 7.0 [8] 25 km 39.39°S 176.10°E
26 May 1840 Paraparaumu Wellington 6.0 [9] 25 km 41.00°S 175.00°E
8 Jul 1843 Near Taihape Manawatu 7.6 [10] 7.6 12 km 39.59°S 176.20°E 2 1843 Wanganui earthquake
13 Jul 1846 Snares Islands Southland 6.3 [11] 25 km 47.00°S 166.00°E
19 Nov 1846 Karamea West Coast 6.5 [12] 25 km 41.00°S 172.00°E
4 Dec 1846 Wellington Wellington 6.0 [13] 25 km 41.00°S 174.50°E
16 Oct 1848 Blenheim Marlborough 7.4 [14] 7.8 12 km 41.89°S 173.60°E 3 1848 Marlborough earthquake
27 July 1851 Motueka Tasman 6.0 [15] 25 km 41.00°S 173.00°E
23 Jan 1855 Lake Wairarapa Wairarapa 8.2 8.2 33 km 41.198°S 175.20°E 9 1855 Wairarapa earthquake[16][17][18][19]
23 Feb 1863 Waipawa Hawke's Bay 7.5 39.57°S 176.34°E 1863 Hawke's Bay earthquake[20][21]
19 Oct 1868 Cape Farewell Tasman Region 7.2 [22] 12 km 40.07°S 173.02°E Felt throughout Central New Zealand
5 Jun 1869 Christchurch Canterbury 5.7 1869 Christchurch earthquake
18 July 1876 Palmerston North Manawatu 6.8 [23] 50 km 40.19°S 175.80°E Felt strongly in Palmerston North
25 Jun 1881 Palmerston North Manawatu 6.7 [24] 33 km 40.39°S 175.60°E Felt strongly in Palmerston North
5 Dec 1881 Castle Hill[25] Canterbury 6.0 [26] Damaged stone buildings in Christchurch, including ChristChurch Cathedral[27]
1 Sep 1888 Lewis Pass North Canterbury 7.0 [28] 7.1 12 km 42.59°S 172.55°E 1888 North Canterbury earthquake
23 Jun 1891 Port Waikato Auckland 6.2 [29] 12 km 37.43°S 174.43°E Felt in Auckland/Waikato
12 Feb 1893 Nelson Tasman Bay 6.7 [30] 70 km 40.99°S 173.80°E Felt throughout Central New Zealand
18 Aug 1895 Taupo Bay of Plenty 6.0 [31] 12 km 38.80°S 176.80°E Felt throughout Central New Zealand
8 Dec 1897 Wanganui Manawatu 6.5 [32] 40 km 39.99°S, 175.00°E Felt throughout North Island, Strong in Wanganui

1900 to 1949[edit]

Date Location Region Magnitude (ML) Magnitude (MW) Depth Latitude Longitude Fatalities Further information
16 Nov 1901 Cheviot North Canterbury 6.8 [33] 12 km 42.74°S 173.35°E 1 1901 Cheviot earthquake
9 Aug 1904 Cape Turnagain Hawke's Bay 7.0 [34] 7.2 16 km 40.40°S 176.40°E 1904 Cape Turnagain earthquake
7 Oct 1914 East Cape Gisborne 6.6 [35] 12 km 37.80°S 178.20°E Felt throughout eastern North Island
22 Nov 1914 Tauranga Bay of Plenty 7.3 [36] 300 km 37.49°S 176.50°E Felt throughout North Island
1 May 1917 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 8.0 50 km 29.00°S 177.00°W Felt throughout New Zealand[37]
6 Aug 1917 Castlepoint Manawatu 6.8 [38] 12 km 40.80°S 176.00°E Felt throughout North Island
3 Nov 1918 Puysegur Trench South of New Zealand 6.8 [39] 50 km 47.00°S 165.40°E Felt throughout Southland
29 Jun 1921 Kaweka Forest Hawke's Bay 7.0 [40] 80 km 39.29°S 176.40°E Felt throughout North Island
25 Dec 1922 Motunau North Canterbury 6.4 20 km 42.99°S 173.00°E Felt throughout Upper half of South Island
9 Mar 1929 Arthur's Pass Canterbury 7.0 [41] 12 km 42.83°S 171.83°E 1929 Arthur's Pass earthquake
17 Jun 1929 Murchison West Coast 7.3 [42] 7.8 20 km 41.69°S 172.20°E 17 1929 Murchison earthquake
23 Jun 1929 Murchison West Coast 6.5 [43] 12 km 41.78°S 172.32°E
12 Feb 1930 Porangahau Hawke's Bay 6.2 33 km 40.39°S 176.55°E Felt throughout Lower half of North Island/Hawke's Bay
3 Feb 1931 North of Napier Hawke's Bay 7.4 [44] 7.8 20 km 39.29°S 177.00°E 256 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake
13 Feb 1931 East of Napier Hawke's Bay 7.3 [45] 30 km 39.55°S 177.31°E Aftershock to M 7.4 event
16 Sep 1932 Wairoa Hawke's Bay 6.9 [46] 12 km 38.95°S 177.59°E Caused further damage to the already devastated Hawke's Bay region.
5 Mar 1934 Pahiatua Manawatu 7.2 [47] 12 km 40.54°S 176.29°E 2 1934 Pahiatua earthquake
15 Mar 1934 Wairoa Hawke's Bay 6.3 25 km 39.31°S 177.23°E Felt strongly in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne
24 May 1936 Whakatane Bay of Plenty 6.5 [48] 150 km 37.99°S 177.00°E Felt in North Island
16 Dec 1938 Fiordland Southland 7.0 60 km 44.99°S 167.00°E Felt throughout South Island
11 Feb 1939 Fiordland Southland 7.0 [49] 25 km 45.00°S 167.50°E Felt throughout South Island
26 Feb 1940 Hastings Hawke's Bay 6.0 25 km 39.50°S 176.50°E Felt throughout North Island
24 Jun 1942 Masterton Wairarapa 6.5 [50] 12 km 40.95°S 175.68°E June 1942 Wairarapa earthquake
1 Aug 1942 Masterton Wairarapa 6.8 [51] 40 km 41.01°S 175.51°E 1 August 1942 Wairarapa earthquake
17 Feb 1943 Te Anau Southland 6.5 123 km 45.29°S 168.00°E Felt throughout South Island
2 Aug 1943 Te Anau Southland 6.1 [52] 33 km 45.64°S 166.67°E Felt throughout South Island
2 Sep 1945 Stewart Island Southland 6.5 [53] 12 km 47.47°S, 166.12°E Felt throughout Southland and Otago
26 Jun 1946 Lake Coleridge Canterbury 6.2 [54] 12 km 43.30°S 171.47°E Mainshock
26 Mar 1947 Offshore Poverty Bay Gisborne 7.1 38.55°S 178.42°E 1947 Gisborne earthquakes and tsunami
17 May 1947 Offshore Tolaga Bay Gisborne 7.1 38.21°S 178.60°E 1947 Gisborne earthquakes and tsunami
22 May 1948 Hanmer Springs North Canterbury 6.4 12 km 42.49°S 173.00°E Mainshock
22 May 1948 Cheviot North Canterbury 6.2 12 km 42.83°S 173.05°E Separate event triggered by the M 6.4 earthquake 5 minutes prior.
9 Feb 1949 Hawera Taranaki 6.4 199 km 39.67°S 174.35°E Felt throughout North Island

1950 to 1999[edit]

Date Location Region Magnitude (ML) Magnitude (MW) Depth Latitude Longitude Fatalities Further information
10 Feb 1951 Porangahau Hawke's Bay 6.1 33 km 40.21°S 177.04°E Felt throughout North Island [55]
24 Jun 1951 Toaroa Junction Manawatu 6.3 33 km 39.45°S 176.20°E Felt throughout North Island
28 Aug 1952 Porangahau Hawkes Bay 5.9 12 km 40.08S 177.19°E Felt throughout North Island
29 Sep 1953 Tauranga Bay of Plenty 7.2 [56] 273 km 37.59°S 176.48°E Felt throughout North Island
27 Feb 1955 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 7.8 18 km 28.40°S 175.37°W Felt in the East half of North Island
29 Dec 1956 Matawai Gisborne 6.1 6.1 33 km 39.72°S 176.87°E Felt strongly along the East Coast of the North Island
31 Jan 1958 Waipawa Hawke's Bay 6.1 12 km 30.30°S 177.50°E
14 Sep 1959 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 7.8 35 km 28.82°S 177.07°W Felt in the East half of North Island
28 Mar 1960 Mokau Taranaki 6.6 [57] 237 km 39.04°S 174.81°E Doublet earthquake to 6.5 event
28 Mar 1960 Mokau Taranaki 6.5 [58] 209 km 39.04°S 174.77°E Doublet earthquake to 6.6 event
25 May 1960 Milford Sound Southland 6.3 12 km 44.17°S 167.72°E
27 Dec 1961 Martinborough Wellington 6.2 12 km 41.51°S 176.11°E Struck offshore Wellington Region, 65 km east of Martinborough
18 Dec 1963 Raoul Islands Kermadec Islands 7.7 35 km 24.77°S 176.52°W Felt in the East half of North Island
11 April 1965 Kaikoura North Canterbury 6.1 12 km 42.76°S 173.87°E Felt in Kaikoura/North Canterbury
21 May 1965 George Sound Southland 6.4 101 km 44.94°S 167.36°E
4 Mar 1966 Gisborne East Cape 6.0 33 km 38.73°S 178.11°E Felt in Gisborne
23 April 1966 Cook Strait Marlborough 5.8 5.8 12 km 41.64°S 174.54°E Caused damage in Wellington
24 May 1968 Inangahua Junction West Coast 6.7 [59] 7.1 12 km 41.75°S 172.04°E 2 1968 Inangahua earthquake
6 Jan 1973 Taupo Waikato 7.0 [60] 163 km 39.03°S 175.26°E Felt throughout New Zealand
5 May 1976 Milford Sound Southland 6.6 [61] 12 km 44.67°S 167.38°E
15 Jan 1976 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 7.8 43 km 29.21°S 177.63°W Foreshock to M 8.2 event
15 Jan 1976 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 8.2 31 km 29.17°S 177.31°W Main shock
18 Jan 1977 Cook Strait Marlborough 6.0 33 km 41.84°S 174.58°E
12 Oct 1979 Puysegur Trench South of New Zealand 6.5 [62] 12 km 46.70°S 166.03°E
24 Jun 1984 Lake Tekapo Canterbury 5.9 12 km 43.58°S 170.00°E Felt around the South Island
31 Dec 1984 White Island Bay of Plenty 6.3 [63] 12 km 36.59°S 177.55°E Felt around the Bay of Plenty
21 Oct 1986 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 8.3 33 km 28.15°S 176.29°W Felt throughout New Zealand[64]
2 Mar 1987 Edgecumbe Bay of Plenty 6.1 [65] 6.5 10 km 37.88°S 176.80°E 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake
4 Jun 1988 Te Anau Southland 6.1 [66] 73 km 45.12°S 167.29°E
24 May 1989 Puysegur Trench South of New Zealand 8.2 Felt in the South Island
31 May 1989 Doubtful Sound Southland 6.1 23 km 45.33°S 166.87°E
13 May 1990 Weber Manawatu 6.2[67] 29 km 40.42S 176.47°E Mainshock
28 Jan 1991 Buller Ranges West Coast 6.1 9.9 km 41.90°S 171.65°E Foreshock to M 6.3 event
29 Jan 1991 Buller Ranges West Coast 6.3 17.3 km 41.90°S 171.72°E Mainshock
8 Sep 1991 South Taranaki Bight Manawatu 6.3 86 km 40.24°S 175.16°E Felt throughout North Island
27 May 1992 Wairau Valley Marlborough 6.8 79 km 41.60°S 173.66°E Felt in Central New Zealand
21 June 1992 White Island Bay of Plenty 6.1 5 km 37.57°S 176.82°E Felt in Bay of Plenty
10 Aug 1993 Secretary Island Southland 6.7 [68] 7.0 5 km 45.21°S 166.70°E Felt as far away as Australia
10 Aug 1993 Gisborne East Cape 6.3 45 km 38.52°S 177.90°E Felt strongly in Gisborne.
11 Apr 1993 Hastings Hawke's Bay 6.1 37 km 39.72°S 176.71°E Felt strongly throughout Hawke's Bay
18 Jun 1994 Arthur's Pass Canterbury 6.7 [69] 6.7 4 km 43.00°S 171.47°E Mainshock
19 Jun 1994 Lake Coleridge Canterbury 6.1 5 km 43.16°S, 171.47°E Triggered from the M 6.7 Arthur's Pass event
24 Nov 1995 Arthur's Pass Canterbury 6.3 7 km 42.95°S, 171.81°E Felt strongly in the South Island
6 Feb 1995 NE of New Zealand East Cape 7.0 [70] 12 km 37.7°7S 179.68°E Mainshock
10 Feb 1995 NE of New Zealand East Cape 6.6 [71] 12 km 37.92°7S 179.51°E
25 May 1997 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 7.9 339 km 33.61°S 177.80°E Felt throughout North Island and upper half of South Island
20 Apr 1998 Taumaranui Manawatu 6.7 [72] 232 km 39,02S 174.92°E Felt throughout the North Island
25 Oct 1999 Taupo Waikato 7.0 160 km 38.56S 175.91°E Felt throughout New Zealand

2000 to 2009[edit]

Date Location Region Magnitude (ML) Magnitude (MW) Depth Latitude Longitude Fatalities Further information
15 Aug 2000 L'Esperance Rock Kermadec Islands 7.6 [73] 436 km 31.94°S 178.55°E Felt in Christchurch
1 Nov 2000 Fiordland Southland 6.2 [74] 9 km 45.12°S 166.95°E
21 Aug 2001 NE of New Zealand East Cape 7.1 [75] 7.1 33 km 36.98°S 179.16°E Felt in the Gisborne area
21 Oct 2001 NE of New Zealand East Cape 6.3 12 km 36.89°S 179.86°E Felt in the Gisborne area
8 Dec 2001 Haast West Coast 6.2 5 km 44.11°S 168.60°E Mainshock
19 Aug 2002 Fiji Islands Greater NZ Region 7.7 694 km 23.81°S 178.36°E Buildings swayed in Auckland for 2 minutes
22 Aug 2003 Fiordland Southland 7.0 [76] 7.2 24 km 45.19°S, 166.83°E Felt throughout South Island
22 Nov 2004 Puysegur Trench South of New Zealand 7.1 [77] 7.0 12 km 46.57°S 165.08°E Reportedly felt as far north as Hamilton.
14 Mar 2005 Opunake Manawatu-Wanganui 6.4 154 km 40.17°S 173.63°E Felt strongly throughout central New Zealand
16 May 2006 L'Esperance Rock Kermadec Islands 7.5 [78] 7.4 150 km 31.56°S, 179.30°W Felt in East half of New Zealand
16 May 2006 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 7.1 33 km 31.98°S, 177.21°W Felt in East half on North Island
16 Oct 2007 Fiordland Southland 6.7 [79] 6.7 5 km 44.72°S 167.39°E Felt lower half of South Island
9 Dec 2007 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 7.8 152 km 25.99°S 177.51°W Felt in East half of New Zealand
20 Dec 2007 Gisborne East Cape 6.7 [80] 6.6 44 km 38.89°S 178.44°E 2007 Gisborne earthquake
25 Aug 2008 Hastings Hawke's Bay 5.9 31 km 39.71°S 176.85°E 2008 Hastings earthquake
15 Jul 2009 Puysegur Trench South of New Zealand 6.1 [81] 33 km 46.07°S 165.75°E Felt throughout Southland and Otago
15 Jul 2009 Dusky Sound Southland 7.8 [82] 12 km 45.76°S 166.58°E 2009 Fiordland earthquake

2010 to present[edit]

Date Location Region Magnitude (ML) Magnitude (MW) Magnitude (Mb) Depth Latitude Longitude Fatalities Further information
4 Sep 2010 Darfield Canterbury 7.1 7.0 6.4 11 km 43.52°S 172.16°E 2010 Canterbury earthquake[83][84]
22 Feb 2011 Christchurch Canterbury 6.3 6.1 6.1 6 km 43.58S 172.67E 185 [85] 2011 Christchurch earthquake[86][87]
13 Jun 2011 Christchurch Canterbury 5.9 5.2 5.1 9 km 43.57°S 172.75°E Strong foreshock, 80 minutes prior to magnitude 6.4 tremor.[88][89]
13 Jun 2011 Christchurch Canterbury 6.4 5.9 6.0 7 km 43.56°S 172.73°E 1 June 2011 Christchurch earthquake[90][91]
5 Jul 2011 Taupo Waikato 6.5 5.5 5.4 153 km 38.65°S 175.70°E Felt throughout New Zealand.[92][93]
7 Jul 2011 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 7.6 7.6 7.0 20 km 29.31°S 176.20°W Felt as far away as Christchurch.[94][95]
22 Oct 2011 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 7.3 7.4 6.5 33 km 28.99°S 176.18°W Felt in eastern half of the North Island.[96][97]
23 Dec 2011 Christchurch Canterbury 6.0 5.9 5.7 7 km 43.52°S 172.74°E Caused considerable damage throughout the Christchurch region.[98][99]
3 Jul 2012 South Taranaki Bight Taranaki 6.5 6.3 5.9 254 km 40.00°S 173.75°E 2012 Opunake earthquake[100][101]
21 Jul 2013 Cook Strait Marlborough 6.5 6.5 6.1 17 km 41.61°S 174.33°E 2013 Seddon earthquake[102][103]
16 Aug 2013 Lake Grassmere, near Seddon Marlborough 6.6 6.5 6.0 8 km 41.73°S 174.15°E 2013 Lake Grassmere earthquake[104][105]
16 Aug 2013 Lake Grassmere Marlborough 6.0 5.9 5.8 8 km 41.67°S 174.26°E Largest aftershock to 2013 Lake Grassmere earthquake[106][107]
20 Jan 2014 Eketahuna Wairarapa 6.2 6.1 5.8 34 km 40.62°S 175.85°E 2014 Eketahuna earthquake[108][109]
13 Oct 2014 Fiordland Southland 6.2 5.8 5.4 9 km 46.29°S 165.87°E [110][111]
14 Oct 2014 north-east of Whakatane Bay of Plenty 6.5 5.7 82 km 34.90°S 179.65°E [112][113]
17 Nov 2014 north-east of Gisborne Gisborne 6.5 6.7 6.2 22 km 37.68°S 179.68°E Felt strongly across the North Island[114][115]
6 Jan 2015 west of Arthur's Pass Canterbury 6.0 5.6 5.5 5 km 43.06°S 171.25°E Felt throughout the South Island[116][117]
24 Apr 2015 south-east of Saint Arnaud Marlborough 6.2 6.1 6.0 52 km 42.09°S 173.07°E Felt throughout New Zealand[118][119]
2 Feb 2016 East of Macauley Island Kermadec Islands 6.6 6.2 6.3 366 km 31.65°S 177.74°E Felt widely in the North Island.[120]
14 Feb 2016 Christchurch Canterbury 5.7 5.8 15 km 43.5°S 172.83°E Felt throughout the South Island and most of the North Island. See 2016 Christchurch earthquake.[121][122]

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