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Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks: The Story of New Zealand Plants


The small outlying islands are found at distances from mainland New Zealand of about 450 km (Aucklands) to about 1300 km (Lord Howe) (Fig. 2). Their botanical links with New Zealand range from significant to strong.

A group comprising Macquarie, the Aucklands, Campbell and Antipodes lies south of New Zealand and is conveniently termed the subantarctic islands; the Chatham Islands are temperate and lie to the east of the central South Island; while the Kermadecs, Norfolk and Lord Howe lie to the north of the North Island and can be termed subtropical. The Kermadecs and Macquarie lie on submarine oceanic ridges resulting from the interaction of crustal plates, but the other islands stand on submarine plateaus and ridges, which extend from New Zealand and are probably all submerged continental crust. Macquarie Island is comprised of serpentine and basalt pushed up from the sea floor, but the others are entirely or largely volcanic. One outcrop of granite is known from the Auckland Islands, some schist and sedimentary rocks occur on Campbell Island and the main Chatham Island has limited areas of schist and limestone in the north. The small granitic Bounty Islands have no land flora.