Eruption episodes, where a series of eruption events are generically related, can include the eruption of a wide spectrum of volcanic activity over decadal periods. This paper concentrates on the opening phases of an eruption episode which occurred approximately 1800 yrs BP from Mt Taranaki, New Zealand. These events spanned the eruption of differing bulk compositions and styles from two distinct vent locations; an andesitic sub-plinian eruption from the summit vent and a scoria cone-building eruption of basaltic magma from a satellite vent. Compositional profiles and zoning textures of plagioclase, amphibole and clinopyroxene phenocrysts from the opening andesitic event show evidence of magma mixing and subsequent crystallisation just prior to the initiation of the eruption episode. Titanomagnetite grain morphology and Ti variation suggest that the magma mixing event occurred within a few days to weeks before the eruption acting as a trigger for it. We present a magmatic model which is constrained by the petrological observations and eruptions of the episode. In this model magma differentiation at depth causes its rise and recharging of a mid-crustal magma storage area at 5-7 km. Although the recharging magma differed slightly in oxygen fugacity and temperature, it was compositionally and physically similar enough to the residing andesitic magma to allow efficient mixing. The petrological characteristics described here can be readily observed and enable identification of mixing events in other recent eruption episodes.