A New Zealand academic says new additions to the Polynesian Leaders Group raises questions on whether the Pacific Islands Forum is losing its prominence.
New Zealand, Hawaii and Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, were admitted as new members at the recent 8th PLG summit in Tuvalu.
They add to the group's existing nine of Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa, French Polynesia, Tokelau and Wallis and Futuna.
Malakai Koloamatangi said the group's influence is rising and it is now the largest sub-group within the Forum.
"You have these sub regional groupings in the region which makes things interesting and one wonders whether this will lead to a further erosion of influence of the Pacific Islands Forum," Mr Koloamatangi said.