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For all:  Mahalo nui loa for all who contributed to this resolution, especially DPH Kauai County Committee Chair Hermina Morita and Malia Nobrega Olivera, President, Hui Hana Pa’akai o Hanapepe.  My pu’uwai was touched yesterday by the unanimous adoption of this resolution by the State Central Committee and the supporting comments made by the Kauai representatives to the SCC, the Vice President of the SCC who hails from Kauai, and HAC SCC representative Ken Farm.  It was not an easy task since we had to get through the hurdle of convincing the SCC that this was a statewide concern so as to allow it to be considered on the meeting agenda for adoption.  As a note, the journey began when I received a petition from Kuulei Santos on the Hanapepe Salt Ponds, subsequently supported by Jean Iida, Kauai representative to the HAC, and discussed with and approved by the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus.   The final resolution as adopted was one that members of the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus Executive Committee felt they could support and recommend for consideration by the SCC.  Mahalo also to Makana Paris for helping with the diacritical marks of the original version of this resolution.
 
 “Kākou effort…mahalo to all.
 
Leimomi

DPH SCC Resolution 2019-1, adopted August 3, 2019

Protect Paʻakai (Salt) Cultural Practice of Hanapēpē, Kauaʻi

Whereas, Article XII §7 of the Hawaiʻi Constitution provides:

The State reaffirms and shall protect all rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes and possessed by ahupua‘a tenants who are descendants of native Hawaiians who inhabited the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778, subject to the right of the State to regulate such rights.

Whereas, Waimakaohi‘iaka, in the ʻili of ʻUkulā, in the ahupuaʻa of Hanapēpē, in the moku of Kona or also known as the salt ponds of Hanapēpē is a wahi pana, a culturally significant sacred site specifically for the making of pa‘akai (salt), which has been traditionally cultivated and gathered by Native Hawaiians since time immemorial; and

Whereas, Waimakaohi‘iaka, is the only area in all of Hawaiʻi that continues to harvest paʻakaiusing traditional methods which are passed generation to generation by Native Hawaiian ʻohanawho are exercising their constitutionally protected traditional and customary salt-making knowledge and skills; and

Whereas, In keeping with centuries-old traditions, the paʻakai gathered at this location cannot be bought nor is it sold, but is generously shared or traded by the twenty-two families who are the lineal descendants of past salt-makers whereby this resource is distributed throughout Kauaʻi, statewide, nationally and internationally for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes; and

Whereas, The Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places is an official list of properties that have been recognized for their significance to the history, architecture, archaeology, or culture of Hawai‘i communities; and

Whereas, The Hanapēpē Salt Pans is listed in the State Inventory of Historic Places as SIHP #50-30-09-00049 and was added to the Hawaiʻi Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1988 and is also recommended for placement in the National Register of Historic Places; and

Whereas, The Waimakaohi‘iaka parcel is zoned Conservation (State Land Use), and is identified as an Open/Special Treatment Resource and Cultural District by the County of Kauaʻi; and

Whereas, Urbanization and commercial and increased recreation activities adjacent to Waimakaohi‘iakaare also causing a storm of other threatening factors such as dust, noise, and potential contamination from sources ranging from an ill-placed helicopter operation sited at Port Allen Airport, also known as Burns Field, and vehicles trying to drive on the beach, to broken beer bottles and trash left by beach users or homeless camps; and

Whereas, The aloha for and threats to this wahi panawere highlighted on June 25, 2019 when the Kauaʻi Planning Commission considered an application submitted by Smoky Mountain Helicopters, Inc. for after-the-fact permit applications where over 100 people testified in person, over 100 written testimonies were submitted and 24,000+ signatures supported the online petition found at http://change.org/protectpaakai, to protect this last of its kind, salt making in Hanapēpē; and

Whereas, Subsequently, the Kauaʻi Planning Commission is now holding a contested case hearing for the after-the-fact permit applications and granted intervenor status to the Hui Hana Pa‘akai o Hanapēpē, a Native Hawaiian organization organized in 1964, comprised of the 22 ‘ohana that continue the salt-making and gathering practice; and now therefore

Resolved, That the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi stands in solidarity with Hui Hana Paʻakai o Hanapēpē, the salt-makers of Kaua‘i, and urges the following:

  • Kauaʻi Planning Commission reject the after-the-fact permit applications for Smoky Mountain Helicopters, Inc.;
  • State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation move the operations of Smoky Mountain Helicopters, Inc. from Burns Field to the more appropriate Līhuʻe Airport where all other Kauaʻi helicopter tour businesses operate;
  • State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation provide adequate security to discourage illegal trespassing and camping in the areas under its jurisdiction;
  • State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the County of Kauaʻi also control, regulate and enforce illegal beach access impacting the salt ponds in the areas under its jurisdictions;
  • State of Hawaiʻi Deparment of Health investigate the restroom facility at Burns Field that is currently utilizing an unpermitted cesspool as stated in their “after the fact” permit applicationʻ
  • all relevant State and County agencies cooperate and collaborate to require the necessary environmental disclosure needed to assess impacts and evaluate the implementation of mitigation measures and/or adequate buffer zones from adjacent, non-compatible uses to ensure the protection and preservation of the Hanapepe Salt Pans

Ordered, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to all members of Hawaiʻi’s Congressional Delegation, the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, the Lt. Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, the Director of the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, the Chairperson of the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land & Natural Resources, the Chairperson of the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health, the Kauaʻi Board Member of the State of Hawaii Board of Land & Natural Resources, the Kaua‘i Planning Commission, 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.


Resolution to be sent to the following:

The Honorable David Ige
Governor, State of Hawaii
State Capitol
415 S Beretania St #5
Honolulu, HI 96813
 
The Honorable Josh Green
Lieutenant Governor, State of Hawaii
State Capitol
415 S Beretania St, 5th Floor 
Honolulu, HI 96813
 
Ms. Jade Butay
Director, Dept of Transportation
State of Hawaii
Aliiaimoku Hale 
869 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813 
 
Ms. Suzanne Case
Chair, Board of Land and Natural Resources
Dept of Land and Natural Resources
Kalanimoku Building
1151 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
 
Ms. Virginia Presslet, MD
Director, Dept of Health
State of Hawaii
P. O. Box 3378
Honolulu, HI 96801
 
Ms. Janet Berreman, MD, MPH
Kauai District Health Officer
Dept of Health
3340 Umi Street
Lihue, HI 96766
 
Mr. Ka’aina S. Hull
Director, Kauai County Planning Dept
4444 Rice St #473
Lihue, HI 96766
Mr. Sean Mahoney, Chair
Planning Commission
c/o County of Kauai Planning Dept
4444 Rice Street, Suite A473
Lihue ‘e, Kauai 96766
 
Mr. Thomas Oi
Member, 4th Land District(Kauai)
Dept of Land and Natural Resources
1151 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
 
Senator Ronald D. Kouchi
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 409
415 South Beretania St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
 
Representative Nadine K. Nakamura
Hawaii District 14
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 314
415 South Beretania St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
 
Representative Dee Morikawa
Hawaii District 16
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 434
415 South Beretania St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Representative James Kunane
Hawaii District 15
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 305
415 South Beretania St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Ms. Malia Nobrega-Olivera
President, Hui Hana Pa’akai o Hanapepe