and is the organization accepting donations for the Hui. All of your donations come directly to the Hui.
Your donations are tax deductible.
The people of Kailua have come together to restore the health of Maunawili so that the valley can resume its vital and traditional role in the Kailua ahupua‘a as a place of free-flowing fresh water, abundant agriculture, and rich natural, cultural, and historic resources.
World Wetlands Day 2019
Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Kailua United Methodist Church
Join us as we celebrate Kawainui and Hāmākua, declared a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 2005. We invite you to visit and learn more about these wetlands, the birds and plants that live here, and the cultural history and traditions of this special place. World Wetlands Day is a family-Tbitloriented event offering tours, wetland exhibits, plant sales, and activities for the keiki. More information here.
By showing your public support we are ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy the beauty and wonder of Hawai‘i that we enjoy today.
Governor Calls for State Acquisition of Maunawili Ag and Preservation Lands
“Special Lands In Public Hands”
In his 2019 State of the State Address, Governor David Ige specifically called out Maunawili as an area that the State should acquire and preserve to protect Kailua’s watershed, rich agricultural lands and irreplaceable natural and cultural resources.
Noting that the private landowner (HRT/Weinberg) has proposed to subdivide and develop Maunawili, the Governor said that the State wishes to negotiate acquisition agreements with them to protect natural resources and recreational areas. He noted that the State, the Trust for Public Land and other partners have recently accomplished similar acquisitions, saving important lands from uncontrolled development.
“Our future requires that over time – we, as a state, acquire and preserve more and more land – either as state land or in the hands of partners like the Trust for Public Lands and the Nature Conservancy. If we want green spaces, if we want to grow our own food, if we want places for recreation, if we want clean, fresh water, if we want the environmental that has been so central to Hawa‘i’s life, we need to have special lands in public hands. ….
…Kane‘ohe and Maunawili both include areas that the landowners have proposed for housing development.
But they also contain the mauka source of freshwater streams that feed ancient lo‘i and flow into vital coastal waters of Kane‘ohe Bay and Kawainui Marsh.
They contain some of the richest agricultural lands on O‘ahu and have been farmed by ancient Hawaiians for centuries.
They are irreplaceable natural resources and part of the economic, ecological and cultural heritage of Ko-o-lau-poko.
These places are worth saving for us and for future generations.”
The Governor is requesting increased funding for land conservation by removing the $6.8 million cap on the 10% conveyance tax to the Legacy Land Conservation Program. He has also instructed the Department of Land and Natural Resources to prioritize coordination of the acquisition of these parcels.
Watch Governor Ige at the 2019 State of the State Address: Special Lands In Public Hands
Read the complete text of the State of the State Address here: hawaii.gov
Video — the section on planned development, including Maunawili, begins at 24:10: C-SPAN
A Community Vision for Maunawili
We support the purchase, preservation and restoration of agricultural and conservation lands in Maunawili Valley and the protection and preservation of wetlands, fresh water resources, important ancient and historic sites, and historic trails and roads.
We support the State in fulfilling its obligation “to conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency, and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands.” (Hawaiʻi State Constitution, Article XI, Section 3.)
We oppose subdivision of Kailua’s prime agricultural and conservation land in Maunawili.
We call for HRT/Weinberg, owner of more than 1,084 acres of prime agricultural and conservation land in Maunawili, to continue to work in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit organization that has helped protect lands throughout Hawaiʻi, on a voluntary conservation sale of HRT/Weinberg’s Maunawili lands. This is a rare opportunity to put these important lands in public ownership and to secure Maunawili’s irreplaceable resources for the health and welfare of the people of Hawaiʻi today and for future generations.
We call upon you to Kū Kailua, to stand with us for our beloved ahupua‘a and its abundant natural and cultural resources.
HRT Realty, LLC, a real estate arm of The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc., owns more than 1,084 acres of land in Maunawili Valley zoned Agriculture and Conservation by the State. HRT/Weinberg has submitted four applications to the City Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) to subdivide more than 1,039 acres of its Maunawili landholdings. There has been no public environmental review process or public notice of these subdivision applications.
The lands proposed for subdivision make up 50% of the land in Kailua zoned Agriculture and the vast majority of the Hanalei Series Soil in the ahupua‘a, the islands’ most fertile soil. 56 acres are within the Special Management Area (SMA); to date DPP has not required that HRT/Weinberg obtain an SMA permit. Hui Maunawili-Kawainui and our partners have grave concerns that developing these proposed subdivisions will negatively impact critical watershed areas and important agricultural lands and, thus, the health and well-being of the entire Kailua ahupuaʻa.
Since May 2018, all four HRT subdivision applications have expired, lacking completion of additional information requested by DPP, compliance with the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) that governs some of the properties and review by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Department of Agriculture (DOA.) HRT/Weinberg can submit new applications for these properties at any time and has done so in the last two years when previous applications also expired.
Since the end of 2017 HRT/Weinberg has been in discussions and negotiations with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) on a Letter of Intent to sell their Maunawili properties to TPL for conservation purposes. As a community, we urge HRT/Weinberg to work swiftly to finalize the Letter of Intent and move forward on a conservation sale of their Maunawili properties to insure their long-term restoration.
For decades public and private organizations have tried unsuccessfully to acquire and protect lands in Maunawili from the threat of development. Until recently, the private landowner HRT/Weinberg has not responded to community efforts to acquire its Maunawili properties. Instead the organization has been working on plans to subdivide and eventually sell the Maunawili lands.
In a new and positive development, HRT/Weinberg is currently working with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) on a Letter of Intent whereby HRT/Weinberg would agree to sell their Maunawili properties to TPL for eventual ownership and stewardship by the State and other government agencies in partnership with qualified community organizations.
Our community urges HRT/Weinberg to work quickly with TPL on a conservation sale to put these important lands in public ownership for their permanent protection and to promote their long-term sustainable use, and the food security goals of Hawaiʻi nei.
The 1994 Kawainui Master Plan (KMP) recommended that the State acquire the privately-owned wetland/semi-wetland and upland areas in Maunawili, noting that they are part of the economic, ecological, and cultural resources of Kawainui Marsh, separated only by the highway. Unfortunately, the State has not been able to secure these Maunawili lands, which remain owned by HRT/Weinberg.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, TPL, and other non-profit organizations have sought to engage the landowner HRT/Weinberg Foundation in discussions regarding purchasing portions of their Maunawili lands. These parties are among the many agencies and community groups that now support TPL acquiring HRT/Weinberg’s Maunawili lands in a conservation sale.
The State has an obligation to “conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands.” (Hawaiʻi State Constitution, Article XI, Section 3.)
Hui Maunawili-Kawainui and our partners have serious concerns about “agricultural subdivisions.” Throughout Hawaiʻi we have seen agricultural subdivisions turn into “fake farms” too often in recent years. They all result in the same outcome: the loss of our most fertile lands that can increase local food production and decrease our dependency on imported food.
The Koʻolaupoko Sustainable Communities Plan (KSCP), which was adopted by the City Council in August 2017 (Section 3.4.), identifies preventing conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses as a core priority for Koʻolaupoko. Citing the KSCP, the State Department of Agriculture (DOA) has written that “an agricultural subdivision is in violation of Section 205-4.5(a), Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, when the primary use of the proposed subdivision is for residential purposes.” (Letter to K. Sokugawa, DPP, from S. Enright, DOA, May 25, 2017.)
The significant deposits of nutrient-rich Hanalei soil in Maunawili combined with fresh water resources are too important to squander. They confirm the potential for the valley to provide an important base for enhanced local food security through managed and thoughtfully developed food-producing farms.