Viewpoint: Group would like to see land protected

By TAMARA PALTIN for The Maui News

It is unfortunate that the quiet title process of forcing families to sell their ancestral lands continues in Hawaii in this day and age, however that is the result of legal action taken by Maui Land & Pineapple Co. over the last five years to quiet the title of a very small parcel of land located within the Honolua Marine Life Conservation District. While this is a sad situation, the Save Honolua Coalition hopes that it can be turned into an opportunity to further malama Honolua.

Our vision for this property is our mission for our nonprofit: Maintain open space, public access and revitalize the health of the Honolua ahupua’a through community-based management utilizing Hawaiian practices and values. We would like to facilitate a makai watch program being reinstated in this area and continue to fund port-a-potties, possibly at this location as part of a much needed management plan for this sensitive area.

It is disappointing that ML&P President and Chief Operating Officer Ryan Churchill declined to comment on The Maui News’ Jan. 29 article regarding the public auction of this property.

Time and time again the community has come out en masse to support the protection of Honolua Bay from private development, and I’m sure we would all like to know ML&P’s plans for the future at Honolua. Will it restart a bidding war at the confirmation hearing? If it were to acquire the land, what are its plans? As a publicly traded corporation beholden to their stockholders, ML&P and all of its employees are responsible for making a profit, so we wonder how outbidding our community will accomplish this. If the company has plans for conservation and management, wouldn’t it be cheaper for stockholders to allow a nonprofit to shoulder the burden? If ML&P or any other entity has plans for private or commercial development at Honolua, be assured that the community will rise up once again to protect Honolua.

Ultimately the Save Honolua Coalition would like the community to have ownership of this land through a conservation land trust. We are actively seeking to raise the necessary funds on our website, If you have a love for Honolua and believe in our mission and what we are doing, please donate. Every little bit helps. If you would like more information, contact us at

If ML&P or another entity ends up with control of the property at the confirmation hearing, we will continue to work on our mission and hope to work together with the landowners on a management plan to address the many threats faced by the Honolua Marine Life Conservation District.

* Tamara Paltin is the president of the Save Honolua Coalition. She lives in Napili.–Group-would-like-to-see-land-protected.html?nav=18

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