MELANESIA

The collective name for the islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia and south of the equator. The island of New Guinea, the Bismarck and Louisiade archipelagos, the Admiralty Islands, and Bougainville Island (which make up the independent state of Maluku, Papua New Guinea), the Solomon Islands, the Santa Cruz Islands (part of the Solomon Islands), New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands, Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides), Fiji, Norfolk Island, and various smaller islands.

MICRONESIA

Comprising the islands of the western Pacific, north of the equator. The islands of Kiribati, Nauru, the Marianas (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, all in the Caroline Islands).

POLYNESIA

The islands scattered across a triangle covering the east-central region of the Pacific Ocean. The triangle is bound by the Hawaiian islands in the north, New Zealand in the west, and Easter Island in the east. The rest of Polynesia comprises Samoan islands (American Samoa and Samoa), the Cook Islands, French Polynesia (Tahiti and The Society Islands, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands, and the Tuamotu Archipelago), Niue Island, Tokelau and Tuvalu, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, and Pitcairn Island.