John Roughan writes in the NZ Herald about the creation of New Zealand – an event which happened fairly recently – and how Auckland’s landscape has changed over the years.
The massive volcanoes which helped to build Auckland up are mostly gone now, and it is also possible that New Zealand carried more plants and animals from Gondwanaland than some geologists think.
An excerpt: (read in full here)
“If Maui the legendary fisherman hauled the land from the deep he had some seismic help. Far below the ocean the Earth’s hot mantle had altered its convection in a way that created a new boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates.
“As they ground together the vigorous and sustained tectonic activity gradually forced the land mass upwards and more of New Zealand’s higher ground emerged from the sea.
“The submarine land mass reached its lowest point 23 million years ago and has been rising ever since, thrust up by the collision of the plates and bolstered by the subsequent Pacific Ring of Fire volcanic eruptions near the boundary.”