Within the watershed of the Hutt Valley there are only two periods of sedimentation; a very long hiatus separates them.
These two groups are (1) the very sparsely fossiliferous Mesozoic greywackes, and (2) the Quaternary terrestrial and estuarine sediments of the Hutt Valley.
Very little is known about the greywackes of the Wellington district. The folding is intensely complex in most areas and some at least have been folded in several directions. The strikes are erratic in the Fitzherbert-Wainuiomata ridge.
The takahe (Notornis mantelli), an endangered rail once widely distributed through New Zealand, had become restricted to Fiordland, and possibly Nelson and the Ruahine Ranges, by European times. Two contentious viewpoints have been advanced to explain the decline: climate and vegetational changes in the late Pleistocene and Holocene; and ecological changes induced by early Polynesians. These theories are examined in relation to the habitat requirements of takahe in its present restricted range, the historical and sub-fossil record, and the possible age of the sub-fossils.
Understanding the evolutionary history and biogeography of the New Zealand alpine flora has been impeded by the lack of an integrated model of geomorphology and climate events during the Late Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene. A new geobiological model is presented that integrates rock uplift age, rate of uplift and the resulting summit elevations in the Southern Alps (South Island) during the last 8.0 million years with a climate template using the natural gamma radiation pattern from the eastern South Island Ocean Drilling Program Site 1119 that covers the past 3.9 million years.