-In New Zealand, the term is applied to a person who has emigrated from one of the smaller islands of the Pacific to New Zealand in modern times, or one of their descendants born in New Zealand. While the majority of these people originate from Polynesia, others come from Micronesia and Melanesia. The term is used to distinguish these people from the indigenous New Zealand Māori (who are also Polynesian but arrived in New Zealand many centuries earlier), and from other ethnic groups. A stated reason for making the ethnic distinction is that the Pacific peoples suffer from socio-economic disadvantages as a group and benefit from culturally targeted social and health assistance.
-In Australia, "Pacific Islander" means a person from islands in the Pacific, as in New Zealand.
-In the United States, "Pacific Islander" refers to people from the same locations. In U.S. usage it is most commonly seen as "Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders".
-It excludes people who trace to non-Pacific Island origins (e.g., descendants of Chinese or European colonists) that may now reside on the islands. It would also exclude New Zealanders, except the Māori who are Polynesian, nor would it include Australians or indigenous Australians (except perhaps Torres Strait Islanders, who are generally not included under the designation "Australian Aborigines").
Inhabitants of Russia's Kuril Islands, Alaska's Aleutian Islands, and the Taiwanese, Japanese, Filipino, and Indonesian islands, although technically bordering edges of the Pacific Ocean, do not fall under the definition of "Pacific Islanders" because such islands are not actually located within the Pacific or therefore any of the three regions of Oceania (Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia), and ethnicities native to the latter four among the aforementioned are thus classified as "Asians" on the U.S. Census. Despite this, a growing number of Filipino-Americans have denied the classification of being "Asian", instead claiming to be "Pacific Islanders", which has provoked dismay among some Pacific Islanders who actually belong to the Oceanic cultures comprising the commonly accepted definition of the term, and has also prompted allegations of cultural denial from other Filipinos, the worldwide majority of whom identify themselves as being Asian (as the Filipino government has stated since its foundation that the Philippines is a part of Asia). However, it should be noted that both groups, as well as aboriginals from Taiwan, other countries of Maritime Southeast Asia (including Indonesia), and the Madagascar Malagasy are all closely related ethnically and can be grouped together under one umbrella term, the Austronesians.
For instance, U.S. Census category was "Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders" (NHPI). NHPI refers to people having origins from any of the indigenous peoples of Hawaii, the Marianas, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. It includes people who indicated their race or races as "Native Hawaiian", "Guamanian or Chamoru", "Samoan", or "Other Pacific Islander", or wrote in entries such as Tahitian, Mariana Islander, or Chuukese.
15 Octombrie 2007