Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


Achievement objective PEB 6-1

Students will:

  • investigate the external and internal processes that shape and change the surface features of New Zealand.


  • Recognises that surface features can be one or more local or national landforms.
  • Explains the external processes (such as those related to the action of water, wind, ice, animals, plants, humans, and sea) that can expose, erode and/or weather landforms.
  • Explains the internal processes that form and expose landforms:
    • the formation of volcanoes or mountains
    • lateral movement along tectonic plate boundaries
    • formation of volcanoes by hot spots
    • movement along fault lines
    • folding, faulting, and uplift
    • land movement due to earthquakes.
  • Relates relevant internal and external processes to a local or other area of New Zealand.

Possible context elaborations

  • The Manawatu River: changes in level and the formation of adjacent river terraces due to fault line movement.
  • Ninety Mile Beach: the effects of sand particle size, wind speed, water currents, and vegetation on dune movement.
  • The line of volcanoes from Ruapehu to White Island: relationship between these volcanoes and the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate.
  • The events that produced the layers exposed in a road cutting in Taranaki.
  • How volcanic activity and then the erosion of the Southern Alps formed Banks Peninsula.
  • Limestone formations such as caves and sinkholes at Waitomo or Takaka Hill.
  • The geological events that caused landslides.
  • How glaciers carved out U-shaped valleys and formed mounds of moraine.
  • How subduction of the Pacific Plate under the North island has drowned river valleys and formed the Marlborough Sounds.
  • The formation of mountain ranges such as the Southern Alps, Kaikouras, and Tararuas.
  • Movement along the Alpine Fault and other major fault lines.

Assessment for qualifications

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the  NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.

Learn more with NZQA subject resources for:

Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 for use in 2012; level 3 will be registered for use in 2013.

Learning described by this objective could be assessed using one or more of these achievement standards:

  • science AS90952 1.13

Last updated September 15, 2020