Answers to your Questions:
Q. Why is New Zealand surrounded by volcanoes?
A. New Zealand is part of, what is known as, the Ring of Fire. This is where 90% of all the world’s earthquakes occur, 75% of all the world’s volcanic eruptions occur and 80% of all tsunami occur.
Q. Are there volcanoes under the sea/near the Hikurangi Trench?
A. The Pacific plate subducting under the Australian plate is thought to be the reason the North Island has so many volcanoes (like Mt Ruapehu and White Island). As the plate pushes under, water escapes above it, and this is where you can get volcanoes. This explains why New Zealand’s volcanoes are all in a line. Scientists also think there are extinct volcanoes out east from the East Coast on the Pacific plate, which are now being subducted beneath the Australian plate.
Q. How likely is it that Lake Taupo will erupt?
A. It’s really unlikely that Lake Taupō will erupt anytime soon