There are three types of volcanoes in New Zealand, Volcanic Fields, Cone Volcanoes and Caldera Volcanoes.
In volcanic fields, small eruptions occur over a wide geographic area and are spaced over long periods of time (i.e. thousands of years). Each eruption builds a single new volcano, which does not erupt again. Mounts Eden and Wellington are examples from the Auckland Volcanic Field.
Cone volcanoes (also called composite cones or stratovolcanoes) are characterised by a succession of small-moderate eruptions from one location. The products from the successive eruptions over thousands of years build the cones. New Zealand cone volcanoes include volcanoes like Ruapehu, Taranaki/Egmont and Ngauruhoe. They are the most frequently active type.
Caldera volcanoes have a history of infrequent but moderate-to-large eruptions. Caldera-forming eruptions create super craters 10-25 km in diameter and deposit cubic kilometres of ash and pumice. Resurgent caldera activity is usually smaller than the caldera forming eruptions. There are 8 caldera volcanoes in the central portion of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, between Rotorua and Taupo. This area is known as Te Ahi Tupua.