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The collision of these plates caused the Pacific plate to subduct underneath the Australian plate which carries the North Island.
To the south of the South Island, the situation is reversed.
The zones in New Zealand are defined by trenches in the north and in the south and by the Alpine Fault which connects the two.
Some volcanic islands built up after they became extinct, were covered with sands and mud, washed down from the land.
Sometimes the land uplifted only to be worn down again and be pushed back into the sea. The Tuhua Orogeny, late Devonian to Carboniferous period (about 370 to 330 million years ago) The long period of sedimentation ended with a period of pressure and uplift.
Sea floor sediments were pushed up, folded and melted together to form mountains.
Reference Websites Find out more about New Zealand's volcanoes on: Books Nelson C.
This is a timeline of the history of New Zealand that includes only events deemed to be of principal importance – for more detailed information click the year heading or refer to List of years in New Zealand.
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