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[Media Release - MFAI] Former diplomat Iaveta Short "False Start to Paradise" Book Launch”

Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration

Te Kauono Tutara E te Mana Tiaki – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) together with former Cook Islands diplomat Iaveta Short and family will co-host the official launch of the book ‘False Start In Paradise’ Cook Islands Self-Government written by Iaveta Short this evening at the Moana Sands Lagoon Resort in Muri, Ngatangiia from 6pm.

Mr Short was one of three former staff of the Ministry honored at MFAI’s 35th anniversary dinner in August 2019 as pioneers of the Cook Islands Foreign Service having made significant contributions as diplomats in service to the people of the Cook Islands.

Beyond his notable contributions as a diplomat serving in New Zealand from 1985 - 1998, Mr Short held various various roles in the Cook Islands Public Service including as a Cabinet Minister from 1978-1983. He led several Government negotiations, including the Cook Islands becoming a signatory to the Law of the Sea Convention, Ansett joint venture and landing rights to Sydney, the return of Rarotonga Airport to Cook Islands control and various others.

During a session with MFAI officials in March 2020 where Mr Short spoke about his experiences as a Cook Islands diplomat, with respect to his book “False Start to Paradise”, Mr Short said “This book is my viewpoint of what I saw and what I’ve experienced in the last 50 years of our country’s development”. During the hour session with MFAI Officials in March, Mr Short had a captive audience as he reflected and provided insights of his tenure as a diplomat and what by necessity was learning on the job as the immediate priority during those years were to articulate Cook Islands sovereignty in spaces where the Cook Islands had not engaged prior, such at the United Nations in New York for the transformational Convention on the Law of the Sea negotiations and securing inwards investment to grow the economy.

MFAI have previously supported the launch of books written by Cook Islanders or about the Cook Islands as part of better equipping MFAI officials with information and awareness of Cook Islands issues and supporting promote and project Cook Islands voices and perspectives on Cook Islands issues globally. In 2015, MFAI supported the launch of “Matini” authored by Rachel Reeves about Cyclone Martin and the resilience of people of Manihiki.

“One of the challenges officials in our Foreign Service have long grappled with and is becoming increasingly difficult is a clear sense of self in an age of globalization. Self as in the Cook Islands identity and core interests,” said MFAI Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann. “To do their job effectively, our diplomats must have an accurate understanding of the Cook Islands core interests. This requires a sound understanding of current and future interests and evolving priorities as well as a deep appreciation of our history, culture and geography. Literature, commentary and learnings on our development history, including since self-government 1965 is limited and what exists is often through the lens of individuals and organisations from outside the Cook Islands. The insights and learnings therefore that can be garnered from Cook Islanders like Mr Short who’ve contributed extensively in public service across the broad spectrum of Cook Islands society is invaluable both for current and future public servants as well as our people at large, in the Cook Islands and beyond.”

This evening’s launch will involve the sharing of development and political insights by Mr Short including extracts from “False Start in Paradise – Cook Islands Self-Government”, an opportunity for questions and answers from those in attendance. The book will be on sale at

the launch and light refreshments will be provided.

Queries regarding this release and this evening’s launch can be directed to


1. Iaveta Short receiving an MFAI pioneers award for public service with distinction from the Queen’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters and Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs & Immigration Henry Puna at MFAI’s 35th anniversary dinner in August 2019; and

2. Iaveta Short delivering insights on his “False Start in Paradise – Cook Islands Self-Government” to officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI), March 2020.

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