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Discussion of ‘The Waipounamu Erosion Surface: questioning the antiquity of the New Zealand land surface and terrestrial fauna and flora’

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M. S. Pole comments: In a recent paper Landis et al. (2008) propose that New Zealand was completely submerged in the Late Oligocene–earliest Miocene and therefore, its distinctive terrestrial biota must date from after that time. They propose this based on an analysis of the sedimentological, geomorphological and palaeontological record.

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Landis, C. A., Campbell, H. J., Begg, J. G., Mildenhall, D. C., Paterson, A. M. & Trewick, S. A. 2008. The Waipounamu Erosion Surface: questioning the antiquity of the New Zealand land surface and terrestrial fauna and flora. Geological Magazine 145, 173–97.
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Pole, M. S. 1994. The New Zealand flora – entirely long-distance dispersal? Journal of Biogeography 21, 625–35.
Pole, M. S. 2001. Can long-distance dispersal be inferred from the New Zealand plant fossil record? Australian Journal of Botany 49, 357–66.
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Pole, M. S., Queensland Herbarium, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Mt Coot-tha Rd, Toowong QLD 4066, Australia; e-mail:
Landis, C. A., Department of Geology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
Campbell, H. J., Begg, J. G. & Mildenhall, D. C., GNS Science, P.O. Box 30–368, Lower Hutt, New Zealand; corresponding author H. J. Campbell e-mail:
Paterson, A. M., Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln University, New Zealand
Trewick, S. A., Ecology Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Private Bag 11–222, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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