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The principle of inclusions states that any rock fragments that are included in rock must be older than the rock in which they are included.
The lower sandstone layer is disrupted by two faults, so we can infer that the faults are younger than that layer.
But the faults do not appear to continue into the coal seam, and they certainly do not continue into the upper sandstone.
Some fossils, called index fossils, are particularly useful in correlating rocks.
For a fossil to be a good index fossil, it needs to have lived during one specific time period, be easy to identify and have been abundant and found in many places. If you find ammonites in a rock in the South Island and also in a rock in the North Island, you can say that both rocks are Mesozoic.