Protect Paʻakai (Salt) Cultural Practice of Hanapēpē, Kauaʻi

Whereas, the Salt Ponds of Hanapēpē is a wahi pana(sacred place), that form a rich cultural hub for production of paʻakai (salt), a culturally significant resource traditionally cultivated and gathered by Native Hawaiians since time immemorial; and

Whereas, the Salt Ponds of Hanapēpē is the only area in all of Hawaiʻi that produces paʻakaiin this manner and it is where Native Hawaiian ʻohanacontinue to exercise their constitutionally protected traditional and customary salt making practices; and

Whereas, the cultural practice of making and gathering paʻakaiare passed down from generation to generation and into perpetuity; and

Whereas, the Salt Ponds of Hanapēpē are the only traditional salt production center in existence in the State of Hawai‘i; and

Whereas, the Salt Ponds of Hanapēpē are listed on the Historic Register site #00049 and state site #50-30-09-00049; and

Whereas, Smoky Mountain Helicopters, Inc., a Delaware Corporation, doing business as Maverick Helicopters, applied for a Class IV Zoning Permit Application, Use Permit Application, and Special Management Area Minor Permit Application; and

Whereas,the Applicant is seeking After-the-Fact approval for the addition of restroom facilities within the existing hangar, the construction of a detached structure to house the operation’s compressor, the placement of a 12’ x 56’ mobile office trailer to replace the previously approved 8’ x 40’ mobile office trailer, 8’ x 4’ concrete generator pad for a propane gas tank to replace a tank with less capacity, and the relocation of the 8’ x 40’ shipping container to the north side of the hangar for storage. In addition the Applicant is also requesting approval to install a 4’ high chain link fencing and gates within the existing perimeter fencing, installation of 1059 sf of concrete pathways, installation of a septic system, and placement of gravel with an underlayer of fabric for dust abatement in lieu of previously required landscaping; and

Whereas, Smoky Mountain Helicopters and the proposed additional structures are located at the Port Allen Airport that bears a close proximity to the Lo‘i Pa‘akai ‘o ‘Uka ma Hanapēpē and its threats of pollution and chemical runoff have been of particular concern to Native Hawaiian pa‘akaipractitioners; and

Whereas,on June 25, 2019, the Kauaʻi Planning Commission considered the application submitted by Smoky Mountain Helicopters, Inc.; and

Whereas, the County of Kaua‘i Planning Department recommended that the application be deferred until such time that the applicant addresses deficiencies cited in the report, such as the limited outreach performed by the applicant preventing the Kaua‘i Planning Commission from reasonably protecting the traditional and customary rights of Hawaiians as required by Article XII Section 7 of the State of Hawai‘i Constitution; and

Whereas, on June 25, over 100 people testified in person and the Kauaʻi Planning Commission received over 100 written testimonies urging them to protect the last of its kind, salt making in Hanapēpē, including the 24,000+ signatures supporting the online petition found at http://change.org/protectpaakai; and

Whereas, the Kaua’i Planning Commission subsequently decided to hold a contested case hearing and granted intervenor status to the Hui Hana Pa‘akai o Hanapēpē, a Native Hawaiian organization organized in 1964, made up of the 22 ‘ohana that continue the salt making and gathering practice; and

Whereas, the purpose of establishing rules for the Special Management Area (SMA) is to preserve, protect, and where possible, restore the natural resources of the coastal zone of Hawai‘i, through special controls on shoreline development designed to avoid the permanent loss of valuable resources and the foreclosure of management options; and

Whereas, the SMA Use Permit application process accordingly requires public hearings and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which would provide further opportunities for public and practitioner outreach and input, and otherwise ensure that the applicant meaningfully investigates and discloses any potential environmental impacts of activities underlying the permit, including impacts to natural and cultural resources and cultural practices; and, now therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi stands in solidarity with the salt makers of Kaua‘i and urges the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the County of Kauaʻi to protect the cultural practice of gathering and making paʻakaiof Hanapēpē by requiring an EIS be completed to ensure that the applicant meaningfully investigates and discloses any potential environmental impacts of activities underlying the permit, including impacts to the natural and cultural resources and cultural practices, and especially the HanapēpēSalt Ponds;and be it further

Ordered, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to all members of Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation, the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, the Lt. Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, all members of the Hawai‘i State Legislature who represent Kaua‘i and who are members of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, the Mayor of Kaua‘i, all Kaua‘i county elected officials who are members of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Hui Hana Pa‘akai o Hanapēpē,

Introduced by: Hawaiian Affairs Caucus; adopted at its general membership meeting,

July 20, 2019, DPH headquarters