Story: Pacific migrations

Ha‘apai Group, Tonga

Ha‘apai Group, Tonga

Islands in Remote Oceania are generally small, with a fringe of coral reefs. Many are low-lying coral atolls. These islands had less diverse plants and animals than the continental islands further west in Near Oceania. Survival was tougher, and migrants had to transport their economy in the form of domestic animals and crops. This strategy was also adopted by descendants of Lapita people, the Polynesians, helping them to settle almost every habitable island in the Pacific.

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Photograph by Carl Walrond

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Irwin, 'Pacific migrations - From West to East Polynesia', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 July 2024)

Story by Geoff Irwin, published 8 Feb 2005, reviewed & revised 8 Feb 2017