The thawing at the end of the last glacial period failed to break the ice in New Zealand, courtesy of a millennial-scale cooling event known as the Antarctic Cold Reversal.
While the rest of the world warmed up as the last ice age, around 13,000 years ago, came to an end, data from southern ice cores show the Antarctic Cold Reversal interrupted the process and left New Zealand out in the cold.
The study released by the Australian National University on Tuesday found the effects of the deglacial negation were much greater than expected
Much of the southern hemisphere was impacted by the event with New Zealand and Tasmania in Australia both completely covered in ice while the northern hemisphere's glaciers began to melt.
Scientists studied 84 palaeoclimate records that found the cooling was at its strongest at all locations south of 40 degrees south latitude, including New Zealand, Tasmania and southern parts of Argentina and Chile.