The topography of New Zealand’s sea floor is varied, with large areas of both shallow and deep water. Regions of deeper water are referred to as basins, trenches or troughs (indicated in blue). Basins and troughs are large areas of relatively uniform depth, much like plains on land, while trenches have much steeper sides, more like river gorges. The deepest waters occur in trenches, which also mark the boundaries of continental plates.
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Source: Ray Wood and others, New Zealand’s continental shelf and UNCLOS Article 76. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences; Wellington: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, 2003