New Zealanders have been told to move away from coastal areas of the North Island after three powerful earthquakes shook the region. The three earthquakes all came during early hours at magnitudes of over seven.
The national emergency agency warned of a tsunami threat with "unpredictable surges" expected along the east coast. There were reports of chaos in some towns as hundreds of people tried to reach higher ground.
The South Pacific archipelagos of New Caledonia and Vanuatu have also been warned to prepare for dangerous waves. Parts of South America - including Peru, Ecuador and Chile - have also been warned.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said "tsunami waves have been observed", but as yet no damage has been reported.