A Cultural Exchange within the Polynesian Triangle

From Easter Island to New Zealand: Ocean Conservation across Polynesia

In ancient times, voyagers crossing the Pacific Ocean gave shape to the Polynesian Triangle, an area anchored by three groups of islands: Hawaii in the north; Easter Island, whose indigenous name is Rapa Nui, to the southeast; and New Zealand, which is called Aotearoa in the Maori language, to the west. Far from other places, the residents of the islands inside the triangle over the centuries have developed enduring cultural bonds, including a shared devotion to their ocean environment.

This video is hosted by YouTube. In order to view it, you must consent to the use of “Marketing Cookies” by updating your preferences in the Cookie Settings link below. View on YouTube

This video is hosted by YouTube. In order to view it, you must consent to the use of “Marketing Cookies” by updating your preferences in the Cookie Settings link below. View on YouTube

From Easter Island to New Zealand: Ocean Conservation across Polynesia

Ver en Español

The Polynesian exchange provided a unique opportunity for people from the farthest corners of the Pacific Triangle to come together and celebrate what connects them.Ernesto Escobar

For one week in April, 16 representatives from Easter Island and French Polynesia gathered in New Zealand to celebrate these ancestral and cultural links and to discuss future guardianship of the areas of the Pacific Ocean with their Maori neighbors. The exchange was organized by Pew's Global Ocean Legacy project, which seeks to establish the world's first generation of great marine parks, encompassing areas of extraordinary biological, ecological, and aesthetic values. The current effort is concentrated on creation of fully protected marine reserves for Easter Island and for New Zealand's Kermadec Islands, which would ensure the continued health of these nearly pristine ocean regions for future generations of Pacific peoples.

During the exchange, Pew staff joined the indigenous delegates to learn more about their perspectives on marine conservation. The group met with scientists, Maori leaders, New Zealand government and Royal New Zealand Navy representatives, and the Chilean ambassador to New Zealand, Isauro Torres Negri. They also talked with local fishermen and conservationists, as well as a wide range of New Zealanders committed to honoring indigenous values.

“The Polynesian exchange provided a unique opportunity for people from the farthest corners of the Pacific Triangle to come together and celebrate what connects them,” says Ernesto Escobar, who directs the Global Ocean Legacy's Easter Island project. “The celebration only strengthened everyone's unequivocal commitment to leaving future generations with a healthy ocean capable of sustaining the biodiversity, livelihoods, and cultures of the Pacific region.” 

A Cultural Exchange Within the Polynesian Triangle

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

Explore

Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.