Many biologists reject the idea and insist that our native terrestrial fauna can be explained only by the continuous existence of land. But many geologists are now asserting that there is no longer any convincing geological evidence that the New Zealand section of Zealandia remained above the sea’s surface. But if Zealandia did sink completely beneath the waves 23 million years ago – where did our distinctive ancient flora and fauna such as the tuatara and our tree ferns come from?
This BWB Text is a provocative treatment of the ‘Drowning Zealandia’ scientific controversy by geologist Hamish Campbell.
Hamish Campbell is a senior scientist with GNS Science. He began his professional career as a paleontologist with the New Zealand Geological Survey in 1978. He is best known for his geological research in the Chatham Islands and for his role as geologist and science communicator at Te Papa. He is the author with Gerard Hutching of In Search of Ancient New Zealand (Penguin, 2007, 2011) and the editor with Geoff Hicks of Awesome Forces: The Natural Hazards that Threaten New Zealand (Te Papa Press, 1998, 2012).