Maui News Viewpoint 8/6/08
The Save Honolua Coalition and the Honolua Advisory Council would like to share the recent and significant progress towards the preservation of Honolua with the wider community of Maui. First and foremost, our two groups have united in supporting a common mission to: “maintain open space, public access, and revitalize the ecosystem of Honolua through community-based management utilizing Hawaiian values and practices.” To support this mission, we have established a set of guiding principles for the stewardship of Honolua, which include: 1) protecting and restoring the watershed’s health; 2) promoting culturally-relevant and appropriate activities and practices; 3) preserving open space; and 4) maintaining access.
A year ago, our respective groups were independently working on developing plans for Honolua, each group with its own approach, focus and scope, but also with its own constituency of engaged stakeholders. However, the existence of two separate groups with such overlapping missions generated confusion within the community, and reinforced the underlying conflict that was apparent. It became clear that in order for both groups to productively move forward in step with a united community, we would need to engage with each other and find common ground.
In January of this year, our groups’ leaders began participating in a series of facilitated meetings, the purpose of which was to engage in an open dialog that would result in the identification of our common vision and goals for the stewardship of Honolua. These meetings were guided by a set of values that we collectively identified, such as kuleana, honesty, balance, lokahi, ha’aha’a, la’a, pa’a, ma’a, and pono ula. Through these meetings we were able to recognize many points of agreement, find a common understanding and mutual respect, and establish a solid basis upon which to move forward in a more united manner.
The last several months have been spent gathering information in order to educate ourselves, and in anticipation of the wider dialog that would occur with the many community stakeholders who have been waiting for the opportunity to become more actively involved. To this end, we have engaged in dialog with key individuals, including Mayor Charmaine Tavares and the landowner Maui Land & Pineapple Company, in order to better understand the many components involved in the process. We recognized that once we had become more informed ourselves, our role would be to jointly facilitate an open and inclusive community dialog, in order to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.
Now is the time for all stakeholders to get involved and play a role in defining the future of this special place. There is a lot of work to be done to support the community-based management planning process. We invite everyone who cares about Honolua to attend our jointly-hosted public meeting on Wednesday, August 6th at the Lahaina Civic Center from 6-8 pm. We will be sharing our "One Plan, One Pulse" presentation and this meeting will allow the community an opportunity to provide feedback and input. Maui Land and Pineapple Company will also share their proposal and county officials will also be present. Our goal is for all stakeholders to unite and move forward with a plan of action to malama Honolua.
Kahu David Kapaku - President (Save Honolua Coalition)
Dickie Moon - Honolua Advisory Council