Save Honolua Coalition
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Uncle Richard Ho'opii from Kahakuloa was last night's speaker and he treated those in attendance to the beautiful song, "Ekolu Mea Nui" (Three great things-faith, hope and love). Uncle Richard remembers the way life was in Hawaii, prior to statehood in 1959, when people took responsibility for all things they had to do to be a part of ohana. By 1969, he could feel the difference in lifestyle. Hawaiians adapted in many ways, but they still gave freely and others would take and eventually take advantage. Despite all the hardships and struggle of the Hawaiian people, Uncle Richard stands firm in his belief that aloha and helping each other is the only way to build a better community. Those who live in Maui must take responsibility to save every district, he urged locals not to let Maui become the next O'ahu or LA. We can't allow this to happen, we must talk story within our families but we also need to attend the meetings and speak up to change the laws.
Saving Honolua is like saving yourself for tomorrow. We need to pay close attention to where the opala from development is going to go. We need to watch what goes into the ocean. Uncle Richard believes the Aha Moku bill will be an instrumental tool for all people. It allows for a native Hawaiian representative with intimate knowledge of the district to educate and make sure the right decisions are made. Improvements are a good thing as long as they work with the host culture and with the environment. No one is perfect, but we must strive to do what is best for the next generations. We need to talk story and in doing so let go of our differences and clear up misunderstandings.
Uncle Richard was steadfast in his support of Na Kupuna. He stated, people need to respect the host culture, "Where we have buried our kupuna, let them rest. Move your hotel, move the architectual designs." It is important to ask kupuna for their mana'o, their knowledge is valuable to bring back life, not to become data for developers. To save Honolua and bring back the life to this area, we need to look for someone ma'a to Honolua. Only kupuna with intimate knowledge of this particular area can share the significance and sustainability of traditional land based management as each area has its own system that works specifically for that area.
Uncle Richard Ho'opi'i plays 'Ekolu Mea Nui, "the 3 great things" (faith, hope, love).