Two geochemically and temporally distinct components of the Mesozoic Zealandia Cordilleran arc indicate a shift from low to high Sr/Y whole rock ratios at c. 130 Ma. Recent mapping and a reappraisal of published Sr-Nd data combined with new in-situ zircon Hf isotope analyses supports a genetic relationship between the two arc components. A reappraisal of geophysical, geochemical and P-T estimates demonstrates a doubling in thickness of the arc to at least 80 km at c. 130 Ma. Contemporaneously, magmatic addition rates shifted from ∼14 km3/my per km of arc to a fare-up involving ∼100 km3/my per km of arc. Excursions in Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic ratios of fare-up rocks highlight the importance of crust-dominated sources. This pattern mimics Cordilleran arcs of the Americas and highlights the importance of processes occurring in the upper continental plates of subduction systems that are incompletely reconciled with secular models for continental crustal growth.