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Where do earthquakes happen in New Zealand?

New Zealand experiences large numbers of small earthquakes, in a well-defined belt stretching from Fiordland to East Cape and the Bay of Plenty. This pattern is part of the ‘Ring of Fire’, the almost continuous belt of volcanoes and earthquakes rimming the Pacific Ocean.

The shallow earthquakes (less than 40 km deep) are spread in a wide belt through the country:

shallow earthquakes map png

Below 40km, the earthquakes originate from a sloping surface that shows the position of the plate boundary dipping down at an angle:

earthquake map png