Pacific Ocean Island s forming one of the three main groupings of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean. The other groups are Melanesia and Micronesia. Polynesia consists of island s in the central and southern Pacific between 30° N and 47° S lat. European explorers began to discover them in the 16th century, but it was the late 18th century before all the important ones were located and explored. The island s of Polynesia include: the Cook Island s, Easter Island , French Polynesia, the Hawaiian Island s, the Line Island s, the Phoenix Island s, the Samoa Island s, the Tokelau Island s, the Tonga Island s, and Tuvalu. New Zealand is ethnologically, but not geographically, Polynesian because of its native Maori.