It said people in the areas indicated on the mane should not wait, but should evacuate these areas even if they didn’t feel the earthquake.
“A damaging tsunami is possible.”
The Kermadec Islands are more than 800km from New Zealand, and is an area where there is a lot of earthquake activity.
The last major quake in the region was in June, also a 7.4 magnitude tremor, which prompted warnings of strong currents around New Zealand’s coast but no damage was reported.
GNS Science seismologist John Ristau said today’s quake was along the boundary of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.
It was the second severe quake in New Zealand waters this morning, after a strong 7.1 magnitude quake struck off the north Island coast.
More than 52,000 people reported on GeoNet that they felt the quake. It struck at 2.27am, 105km east of Te Araroa at a depth of 90km.
Hundreds of people moved to higher ground but there have been no immediate reports of damage. A tsunami warning for that quake was cancelled around 6am.