New Zealand has a curfew in place to keep people off the streets after dark. This is to protect property and people from criminal mischief that happens during widespread power outages. The curfew makes it that much easier for law enforcement to make sure that everything remains safe.
The quake happened at about 4:35 AM local time, and the quake was centered about 35 miles outside of Christchurch. So far, estimates peg the damage at $1.4 billion.
Photos of the New Zealand earthquake can be found here, and the video can be seen below.