Polynesia is generally defined as the islands within the Polynesian Triangle, although there are some islands that are inhabited by Polynesian people situated outside the Polynesian Triangle.
Geographically, the Polynesian Triangle is drawn by connecting the points of Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island.
At first, the Pacific plate was subducted under the Australian plate.
In 1831, Jules Dumont d'Urville proposed a restriction on its use during a lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris.
The oldest rocks in the region are found in New Zealand and are believed to be about 510 million years old.
The oldest Polynesian rocks outside of Zealandia are to be found in the Hawaiian Emperor Seamount Chain and are 80 million years old.
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New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and Ouvéa, the Polynesian outlier near New Caledonia, are the unsubmerged portions of the largely sunken continent of Zealandia.