About 1.3 million Kiwis have clambered under their desks on Wednesday morning in the name of earthquake preparedness.
At 9.26am, hundreds of schools and workplaces across the country have taken part in the ShakeOut, the first ever national earthquake drill.
Several radio stations and TV1 broadcast a civil defence siren to mark the start of the drill.
Participants were urged to practise the drop, cover, hold drill, which means dropping to the ground when an earthquake hits, taking cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table and holding on until the shaking stops.
People were expected to stay under cover for only about 10 seconds, but director of civil defence emergency management John Hamilton said he wanted the ShakeOut to be more than just a one-off drill.
"Immediately after the drill is a good time for people to stop and talk about the drill, what they did, what might happen in a real earthquake, talk about their preparedness and also consider other emergencies," he said.
"Many of the things people do to prepare for an earthquake are also important for other emergencies."
Since the first 7.1 magnitude quake hit Christchurch on September 4, 2010, more than 27,450 further quakes have been recorded.
Almost 500 of those quakes have measured between magnitude 4 and 5, while 56 quakes have measured over magnitude 5.