It has long been believed that Polynesian colonisation of the Pacific began from Samoa, but Prof. Wilson's research suggests it actually began from atolls like Takuu and Luangiua that lie outside the Polynesian triangle, in Melanesia.
His research shows the lexical and grammatical structures of those atolls are shared with eastern Polynesian languages, but not to the languages of Samoa and western Polynesia.
In addition to the linguistic similarities, similar fishing techniques were shared. Experts here in NZ say further research is needed.
Reporter: Piripi Taylor.