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Our Story




Following the opening of the Rarotonga airport by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in January 1974, Iaveta & Ruta Short were one of the first local families to embrace the opportunity,
and built three self-contained individual units on one of Rarotongas pristine beaches under the name Moana Roa Beach Resorts.

From the humble beginnings of three individual beachfront units, the vision of expansion grew to now just over fifty rooms, from beachfront hotel rooms, to deluxe lagoon view and self-contained villas and apartments, all conveniently situated on three of the most pristine beaches on Rarotonga.

The Short family are proud of their beach-front properties, and having had members of the family take part in the day to day operations of the business while growing up until today.

Mr. and Mrs. Short (or Papa and Mama as they are affectionately known to the team) and their family have played a key part in developing the Cook Islands hospitality industry, and the team excel in the art of providing the best services with genuine smiles and the well known 'Kia Orana' spirit, which is the signature of our Cook Islands tourism industry.

After fifty years in the business, while the Shorts have also branched out into other ventures and community initiatives, the Moana Sands Group properties remain their core business and pride and joy. They and their team strive to provide a wonderful experience for their guests, a home away from home, where they can relax and enjoy the majestic blue lagoon, the white sandy beaches and tranquility in abundance on Rarotonga ¦ the closest thing to paradise on Earth.

"We all look forward to extending you all a warm 'Kia Orana' welcome, sharing our magical little piece of paradise with the world."


Iaveta, Ruta Short and family.



Iaveta and Ruta with some of their many grandchildren.