A professor from New Zealand's Massey University has proven farmers from Asia were the first people to settle in the Pacific, thousands of years ago.
The research, which has been published in the journal, Nature, comes from DNA extracted from 3000-year-old skeletons in Vanuatu and Tonga.
It refutes the belief that early Pacific settlers were of predominantly Papuan ancestry.
One of the co-authors of the research, Professor Murray Cox, said the research could bring about health improvements for Maori and Pasifika people by helping scientists better understand their genetic makeup's.
"By understanding what genes they got from where and what those genes do we hope to have a better understanding of what is happening in these populations today and from that, better healthcare outcomes."