Worldwide, the climate gradually warmed and ended the last ice age. Melting ice caused the sea level to rise to about 1 metre above its present level 7,000 years ago. It then dropped to its present level. This graph shows the changing sea level around New Zealand, based on 82 data points from eight sites around the coast. There have been minor fluctuations over the last 7,000 years, but all less than 0.5 metre.
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Source: J. G. Gibb, ‘New Zealand regional Holocene eustatic sea-level curve and its application to determination of vertical tectonic movements.’ Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 24 (1986): 377–395, with additional data from David Lowe (University of Waikato)