State House District 13 Representative Mele Carroll was last nights' Save Honolua Coalition speaker. Although Rep. Carroll does not represent our district perse she does work together with all other representatives and votes on issues that affect us. After hearing of Mele's efforts and accomplishments, I soon realized I was in the presence of a legislative warrior, committed to fighting for Native Hawaiian causes and issues that might otherwise never be addressed. Her willingness to work with our community and our representative is indicative of her dedication to her own constituents--her helpful staff often takes oral testimony and puts it into written form for official submission.
Representative Carroll who introduced legislation to create an Aha Moku Council, understands the need for a system of best practices based on indigenous resource management. The moku council acknowledges specific resources within each moku's boundaries and the methodology necessary to sustain the resource and community.
Representative Carrol also has experience in drafting legislation to enforce the current laws regarding stream flow restoration by:
1. Forcing the water resource committee to "do their job"
2. Releasing funds to study inflow streamm standards.
She has committed to working with Representative Angus McKelvey to start legislation to restore stream flow here on the West side (specifically at Honolua) and will notify us through emails when bills are being heard and require our support/testimony. One thing we can do to prepare right now is to begin working on testimony about the importance of restored stream flow.
In 2005, Representative Mele Carroll introduced House Concurrent Resolution 293 which
urges the Commission on Water Resource Management to fulfill is constitutional and
statutory mandate to protect public trust instream uses. "The state has a fiduciary
duty to ensure that the resources of the trust are managed appropriately. This
resolution seeks to support the commission in fulfilling his duty," says Rep. Mele
The resolution specifically urges the Commission on Water Resource Management to devote
staff and resources necessary to fulfil is mandate as well as finalize its strategic
plan to protect the public interest in instream uses which the plan should include:
(1) Identifying and prioritizing streams that require inflow stream studies; (2)
Determine the scope and cost of studies, and the resources and time required to
establish scientifically-based inflow stream studies; (3) Employing the services of
volunteers such as University of Hawaii students as part of their curricular credits
and professional consultants; (4) Securing federal funds and services (including making
direct requests to Hawaii's congregational delegation for grants or other assistance);
(5) Establishing partnership with federal and county governmental agencies, as well as
private business and conservation organizations; and (6) considering the allocation of
water for designated "important agricultral lands."
Next, this resolution urges that the Commission promptly resolve all pending petitions
to restore stream flows such as those of Na Wai Eha and ordering the operators of any
stream diversions including those from the Na Wai Eha, to discontinue any diversions
that have no reasonable and beneficial purpose.
Until next week,